Volunteer Spotlight: Bill Kownacki
Jun 14

Volunteer Spotlight: Bill Kownacki

By Lindsey Beck

Phipps is well-known for our beautiful gardens, seasonal flower shows, pioneering sustainability initiatives, informative educational programs and community outreach. None of our work, however, would be possible without the knowledge and dedication of our volunteers. In this series of profiles, we meet some of the people who give their time to make Phipps possible.

Bill Kownacki has been volunteering at Phipps for almost two years! He spends his time here cleaning plant signage, adjusting the heights of the signage posts, replacing sign labels and setting up signs in between flower shows. Though he takes care of both indoor and outdoor gardens, he has spent most of his time at Phipps working in the indoor gardens.

He enjoys being around the plants at Phipps because most of his past jobs have not given him the chance to spend time working in or around nature. He has experience as a professional librarian and has spent several years volunteering at the Carnegie Library. Outside of volunteering at Phipps, he enjoys spending time outdoors, hiking, attending social events and playing his guitar and drums.

Bill grew up in Pittsburgh, however, he spent many years of his life residing in Oregon until he moved back to Pittsburgh around eight years ago. He claims that Pittsburgh is “a place where everyone seems to come back to.” He is quite fond of his memories growing up here and likes to visit these familiar places today and reflect on his experiences.

We asked Bill what his favorite part of volunteering here is and he said that he loves to watch the plants change and grow over time, just as people do! He says it is wonderful to see “the subtle changes of a living place.” Phipps appreciates Bill’s close attention to the signage that helps to educate people about the plants in the gardens. If you see Bill cleaning a sign in the garden, stop by and say hello!

Header Photo © Paul g. Wiegman