Volunteer Spotlight: Steve Boisvert
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.
When Steve Boisvert retired after more than 40 years in the field of education, he still wanted to have an impact on educating youth. Always having a love for gardening, he knew that when he moved from Boston to Pittsburgh, he had to visit Phipps Conservatory. It was an instant connection.
Steve and his wife have been members for over a decade and one of their favorite parts is when they get to bring their grandchildren along. This is where Steve found the perfect place to combine his love of gardening with his passion for teaching, and he decided that in addition to being a member, he would become a volunteer too!
As a volunteer, Steve is mainly focused in the Production Greenhouse, where his job duties range from repotting plants to installing new seasonal exhibits. One of his favorite parts of these installations is when it is all complete and he can say, “I was a part of that.” The thing he enjoys most, though, is being able to interact with the guests. Many times Steve finds himself leading guided tours around the Conservatory where he is able to share his love and knowledge of horticulture with the guests. Especially with children, he is always excited to have the opportunity to inspire them to take an interest in horticulture.
"Deborah Knorr, the volunteer coordinator at Phipps, does such a wonderful job of creating a true family-like atmosphere for volunteers," Steve says. "All volunteers feel welcomed and appreciated."
Just as Phipps has had such an impact on him, Steve is helping the next wave of members and visitors to be inspired by this place. “Phipps has become a very important part of my life. It truly is the gem of Pittsburgh,” he says. "What a joy to be a part of it."