By Anthonio Pettit
Executive Director, Friends of the Conservatory
Visitors who have come to the Conservatory’s Palm House Gift Shop on Fridays have may well have encountered Celeste Osborn or Lynn Poser working behind the counter.
Both Celeste and Lynn have been volunteering in the shop for the past two years, filling in the morning and afternoon shifts respectively, and have become good friends in the process.
Celeste is a Northwest native and lifelong gardener and has been a frequent visitor to the Conservatory throughout the years. Lynn hails from Southern California originally, and moved to Capitol Hill in Seattle after university in 1971 and has spent a great deal of time in Volunteer Park and the Conservatory.
The Palm House Gift Shop sent a call for volunteers, and both Lynn and Celeste responded and became part of the Conservatory volunteer family within a couple of months of each other.
In her spare time, Celeste takes part in a variety of artistic endeavors including photography, sketching, and sumi-e painting, but her true love is gardening and being involved with plants.
“If I don’t have a place to dig in the dirt, I’m not happy. The Conservatory is very refreshing year-round,” she adds.
Lynn is an accomplished scuba diver, with 16 years experience. She has traveled to interesting warm water spots throughout the world, including Bali, Lombok, and Indonesia. Her next trip is will be a return to one of her favorite locales, the Yucatan in Mexico, coming this Summer. She is also a yoga enthusiast, and adds that the breathing and meditative qualities of the practice have made her a better diver.
In addition to the Palm House Gift Shop, Celeste has volunteered at both the Seattle Aquarium, as well as the Marine Science Center in Port Townsend for a number of years.
Lynn volunteers at the University Food bank, as well as the Assistance League of Seattle Thrift Shop, and is involved with her local neighborhood council.
Both agree that the people with whom they work make the experience at the Conservatory special.
“You get such positive feedback from the visitors, and just feel so lucky to be a part of it,” Poser says.
When asked what each would say to someone interested in working at the Conservatory, both agree:
“Just do it!”
“I am always learning something new,” says Poser, “I’ve learned so much about the plants in the collection just by listening and asking questions. I love being able to come to the docent training and the walk-through tours; I’m learning constantly!”
For more information about becoming a Friends of the Conservatory volunteer, visit our Volunteer Information Page or contact 206.322.4112.