Los Voluntarios



In October, 1966, Maria Stewart, wife of Arboretum Director Bill Stewart, recruited eighteen friends to volunteer their time with historical preservation, flower arranging and archival work at the Arboretum. The following spring, the group was formally organized as Las Voluntarias, and a president and committee chairpersons were elected. In October, 1966, Maria Stewart, wife of Arboretum Director Bill Stewart, recruited eighteen friends to volunteer their time with historical preservation, flower arranging and archival work at the Arboretum. The following spring, the group was formally organized as Las Voluntarias, and a president and committee chairpersons were elected. In 1968, the group expanded considerably with the recruitment of volunteers to assist in a guided school tour program that had been started by Arboretum staff in 1957. By 1972 there were thirty volunteers working weekly as school tour guides. Los Voluntarias took on leadership roles in several festivities held at the Arboretum. Members started producing craft items made of natural materials for sale in the gift shop. Also in 1972, The Garden for All Seasons was designed and created by Los Vols. They continue to maintain it today. In 1976 they devised a set of By-Laws to govern themselves. At that time, they were affiliated with the California Arboretum Foundation. They were required to maintain individual memberships in CAF. The financial requirement was dropped in 1992. In 1998, it formally expanded its affiliation to include both the California Arboretum Foundation and the County of Los Angeles, Department of Parks and Recreation. In the interim (1995) the name Los Voluntarias was changed to Los Voluntarios to reflect the fact that both women and men were integral parts of the volunteer organization. Today, Los Voluntarios is made up of more than 300 men and women, active and sustaining members who contribute over 30,000 hours of service annually to the Arboretum. Currently there are over 30 chairpersons. It is a clear indication of the ever-expanding needs of the Arboretum and of the willingness of volunteers to continue to meet those needs. Each volunteer helps to make the Arboretum a truly special place.



Recent Posts

See All