Nancy Beatty Named Adkins Arboretum Volunteer of the Year

Nancy Beatty Named Adkins Arboretum Volunteer of the Year


For close to a decade, Nancy Beatty has touched countless facets of Adkins Arboretum. From working in the Native Plant Nursery and gardens, to leading nature walks and education programs, to planning for special events, her talent and enthusiasm are evident in all she does. In November, Beatty was named Arboretum Volunteer of the Year for 2010.

An avid gardener and a former preschool teacher, Beatty had brought children to the Arboretum for many years. She was unaware of the many volunteer opportunities, though, until she made contact with Arboretum staff while selling home-grown flowers at a local farmers market.

“My last child was going off to college, and the Arboretum seemed like the perfect fit to fill the spaces,” she said. “I have been interested in gardening since I was very young, and I have always believed in trying to garden organically, so I think that is one thing that led me toward native plants.” She began volunteering in the Native Plant Nursery. “Working in the nursery on Tuesday mornings was a great experience for me. I was able to meet some really great folks.”

In addition to nursery work, Beatty is a volunteer docent naturalist, leading guided nature walks and participating in the Arboretum’s popular Soup ’n Walks program. She also has proven an invaluable addition to the Arboretum’s series of seasonal events. Her talent as a garden designer and floral arranger—she is proprietor of Sweet Bay Garden and Floral Design—parlays into stunning native arrangements that grace the Visitor’s Center during holidays and at the Arboretum’s special events.

“Exploring the Arboretum forest and meadows is something I truly enjoy,” Beatty said. “It’s peaceful and quiet and a great place to unwind and take in and appreciate the wonderful things we tend to overlook when we are busy and life gets too hectic. The falling leaves and the water flowing through Blockston Branch in the late fall are especially soothing. It’s always fun in late winter to search for the first skunk cabbage and in spring to watch the ferns unfurl.”

“Nancy is a gardener and flower arranger extraordinaire,” said Arboretum Executive Director Ellie Altman. “The Arboretum is showered by immeasurable gifts when Nancy shares her talents by helping with plant sales, teaching flower arranging and natural ornament-making, leading nature walks, decorating for special programs and events—the list is long, and her years of service are just shy of a decade.”

Beatty will be honored at a volunteer appreciation celebration on Jan. 29 . She and her husband live in Royal Oak, Talbot County. They will welcome their first grandchild in June.

Adkins Arboretum is a 400-acre native garden and preserve at the headwaters of the Tuckahoe Creek in Caroline County. Open year round, the Arboretum offers educational programs for all ages about nature and gardening. Through its Campaign to Build a Green Legacy, the Arboretum will build a new LEED-certified Arboretum Center and entranceway to broaden educational offerings and research initiatives promoting best practices in conservation and land stewardship. For additional information about Arboretum programs, visit or call 410-634-2847, ext. 0.

Royal Oak resident Nancy Beatty was named Adkins Arboretum Volunteer of the Year for 2010. Photo by Ann Rohlfing.