Our community of members and volunteers never cease to amaze us. We are constantly in awe of their commitment to uphold everything from our mission, to the state of our grounds. Every week, we are lucky enough to see Marlene Ruderman working away in the garden. She joins us at The Ecology Center every Wednesday for our garden volunteer day and at most events like Green Feast and Handmade: A Maker’s Market. She contributes by tending to the chickens, pulls weeds and turns over the compost, but her favorite part is meeting new people. This month, we say ‘thank you’ to Marlene for her dedication, membership, and stewardship to The Ecology Center and our local community. We sat down with Marlene to chat about what she loves most about her time here at The Ecology Center, and were excited to hear she leaves each week feeling ‘filled up’ and relaxed. Read on to learn more about Marlene’s favorite part of being a member of our community.
Where do you live?
Marlene Ruderman: Laguna Niguel, Ca.
How long have you been a member of The Ecology Center? What level membership do you have?
MR: 4 years. Individual-level membership.
You also volunteer here at The Ecology Center, what motivates you to do so?
MR: Volunteering at The Ecology Center supports my health in many ways: mentally, socially, physically, and spiritually. The workshops teach me, and introduce me to new ideas. I even learned a new hobby by taking the Natural Dyes workshop. I’ve made many new friends among this group of innovative, down to earth visionaries. Being at The Ecology Center satisfies my horticultural side, and I’ve learned more than I ever thought was possible about hens and roosters being a Chicken Tender. The chores vary every week but one thing is constant: volunteering at The Ecology Center satisfies my soul. It’s become one of my “right” places. I’ve also met people who grew up in the same town in MA as I did, which is pretty wild.
What is your favorite part of working in the garden?
MR: I love working in the dirt. When the grounds look their best, others can really see the potential of what they can be doing at home. I love working with the chickens, too!
What is your favorite benefit of being a member of The Ecology Center?
MR: Meeting people from all walks of life, every week there are different volunteers, at events, there are people from all over the area. I also feel like being a member is a great way of supporting The Ecology Center, I believe in this place so I want to support it. I also enjoy the 10% discount in the Tools For Change shop. Most of all, I feel like my money is used wisely and put back into programming. There is something for everyone here, all ages are welcome and that is a major benefit for me.