Employee Appreciation: Natalie Sciulli
Sep 26

Employee Appreciation: Natalie Sciulli

By Heather Poling

Phipps is well-known for our beautiful gardens, seasonal flower shows, pioneering sustainability initiative, informative educational programs and community outreach. None of our work would be possible without the knowledge and dedication of our employees. There is a wide array of departments at Phipps, each playing an integral role in creating a wonderful experience for our guests. In this series of profiles, we meet some of our employees and get a glimpse into what they do to make Phipps possible.

During her time as an intern in 2018, Natalie Sciulli absolutely fell in love with the environment and decided she wanted to work at Phipps Conservatory full-time. Today, Natalie is a display horticulturist responsible for the Fern Room, Stove Room and Desert Room.

She starts her day in the early morning focusing on work that can’t be done while Phipps is open, such as watering, pruning and other tasks that would be disruptive to the guest experience. After her morning rounds, she continues to tend to her rooms, completing smaller projects that can be done while guests roam about. Natalie does everything from keeping the floors clean and dry to troubleshooting pest problems, all while keeping the displays beautiful and healthy! She will also assist in the Production Greenhouses with some behind the scenes projects when help is needed. One of her favorite things about her job is being able to create these amazing environments for the public to enjoy.

Natalie loves plants, but she has a myriad of interests outside of her work at Phipps. She is very athletic and plays on not just one, but two ball hockey leagues! Ball hockey is like ice hockey but is played on foot with an orange ball instead of a puck. She began playing the sport about two years ago and now participates in a women’s league and a coed league which she joined so she and her fiancée could play together. She also enjoys spending time outside to walk with her dog, Archie. Natalie also stays busy working on home improvement projects, maintaining a vegetable garden and experimenting with new recipes in her smoker.

In her two and a half years working at Phipps, her favorite memory is helping the collections team install the Tropical Forest Hawai’i display. She remembers, “We cut through trees like lumberjacks, toiled with wheelbarrows of frozen soil and put a lot of sweat and hard work into that room.” All the hard work culminated in the stunning moment when “all the plants looked fresh and beautiful, and we finally opened it to the public!" Being part of such a hard-working team and contributing to this incredible display made this a very memorable experience for Natalie. She looks forward to lending her skills to the next transformation of the Tropical Forest exhibit!