I have mentioned previously that my grandfather was a volunteer at Liriodendron Mansion in Harford County. He was given the opportunity to work on the grounds where no landscaping had been done in several years. He worked hard to clear leaves and plant flowers and trees and even started a wildflower garden. After he passed away, that area was dedicated in his memory as "Larry Franz Woodland Walk." The Harford County Master Gardeners have been maintaining it since 1997.
The mansion itself is rich in history. Built in 1898 by Howard Kelly, a surgeon and founding member of the Johns Hopkins Medical College, Liriodendron was a tribute to Prussian villas of Kelly's wife Laetitia's childhood. The mansion was occupied by members of the Kelly family until 1980 when it was sold to Harford County and the Liriodendron Foundation was formed. Today, the mansion is mainly used as a wedding, conference and arts facility, but retains it's elegant vintage appeal.
Since Liriodendron is a historical landmark, it receives some county funding, but relies heavily on the contributions of members and volunteers.
"The intention has always been that Liriodendron be affordable and available to as many people as possible and the generous time donated by volunteers makes that mission stronger, " explains Dorothy Francis the director of the Liriodendron Foundation.
Volunteers are needed in several areas, such as hospitality, publicity, docents and greeters, membership, education, building and grounds, special events and in the gallery and museum. Training is given to volunteers by the education committee. As much or as little time as a volunteer can give is greatly appreciated. For instance, Sunday docents serve only about two to six times a year.
Current volunteers range from high school students looking to complete their required community service to graduates to retired individuals looking for a valuable way to spend their time.
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, you can visit the Liriodendron website or call the office at 410-879-4424.