2016 Volunteer of the Year: Diane Kinney


Diane teaching about trees during Trick-or-Trees!

Diane receiving Volunteer of the Year at our annual Volunteer Appreciation Event

On January 26, we celebrated our volunteers with an evening at McCrory Gardens to socialize, reflect on the previous year at McCrory, enjoy refreshments, and award earned incentives to our volunteers. The highlight of the evening was naming our Volunteer of the Year, Diane Kinney. Diane topped our volunteer hours with almost 50 hours in 2016, dedicating much of her time, talents, and material into our children’s educational programming. She prepared crafts and learning experiences such as worm towers for the children, and delighted them with her puppet tours of the Gardens.  Diane also helped with many special events throughout the year, and meticulously decorated the Straw Bale House as a charming “Santa’s Workshop” for Garden Glow. Diane’s passion and enthusiasm for the Gardens and education shines through with every project she takes on.


Some words from Diane: “My mom and dad taught me to take care of the land, animals and plants, and I always had large gardens with my children. I have many hobbies that I enjoy like horseback riding and pastel painting, but one of my favorite hobbies is gardening with vegetables, herbs and perennials, and that's where I spend most of my time off. In 1996 I moved to Volga, SD and discovered the beauty that McCrory Gardens had to offer the community and I always dreamed to be a part of the Gardens. Now President of the Brookings Area Master Gardeners, the hands-on training classes sparked my interest in volunteering at McCrory Gardens back in 2014 and I have been a volunteer since then. It now just seems part of my life and enjoyment! My favorite part of volunteering at McCrory Gardens is planting, weeding, children’s activities and guided tours like the puppet tour through the Sensory Garden and Children’s Maze. The professional Instructors of SDSU and gardening staff are enthusiastic and excited to share their love of McCrory Gardens! I’m looking forward to many upcoming events this year like the Garden Discovery Festival in May, Garden Party in August, and Trick-or-Trees in October. I also hope to do pruning, planting and more activities with the children’s programs!”


Thank you Diane for helping make 2016 a great year at McCrory Gardens, and we look forward to 2017!