Volunteering since 2012
His parents were avid gardeners, so the desire to grow things is practically in Charlie Spence’s blood. He has lent his passion and expertise to the community flower garden in Clairton, even leading the installation of a pollinator-friendly section that attracts bees and butterflies.
The thing I enjoy most about volunteering with WPC is working with a garden in a heavily polluted location that, despite the odds, thrives every single year, and provides a bright spot in an otherwise gritty industrial area.
What are your volunteer activities at WPC?
I’m a garden steward in Clairton.
How did you become involved with WPC?
I ran into the woman who had been WPC’s garden volunteer coordinator at another community meeting. The Clairton garden needed a steward…next thing I knew, I had a garden.
How long have you been a volunteer with us and what motivates you to stay involved at WPC?
I started in about 2012. The Clairton garden had been sorely neglected and needed a steward, I jumped at the chance. And why? To watch a strip of dirt turn into an incredible blooming garden is very rewarding.
Tell us about your favorite volunteer experience at WPC?
I’ve enjoyed working with a garden in a heavily polluted location that, despite the odds, thrives every single year, and provides a bright spot in an otherwise gritty industrial area.
What has surprised you most about working with WPC?
The true enjoyment of working not only with my garden and my team of dedicated volunteers, but also working with the staff. They are wonderful people who are always willing to lend a hand. As my schedule permits, I also enjoy showing up at other gardens to help, get some ideas for my own garden and meet new people.
What would you tell someone who is interested in volunteering at WPC?
Take the plunge! Call and ask where you can help. You meet new people and get gardening tips. Honestly, just have a lot of fun. At my garden we laugh the whole time.
What do you do when you’re not volunteering?
I have a medium-sized yard, with a garden that I have nurtured, planned and re-arranged for about 35 years. I love to read, love to travel. Although I am retired, I am involved with a few other non-profits that operate in the Pittsburgh region, serving on their boards, so I keep quite busy.
What might we be surprised to know about you?
I am addicted to Netflix, preferably watching foreign movies and TV series.