By Juliette Coulter
Growing up in a gardening family, Judy Sosbee decided to volunteer at the Dallas Arboretum, along with her husband, Greg, during 2020. The Sosbees, who also like to work in their own garden, love indulging their gardening passion at the Arboretum, especially by working with visitors to the Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden. This fall, they are also co-chairing Autumn at the Arboretum, which runs Sept. 18 to Oct. 31.
Judy said: “Growing up, we had a backyard greenhouse with orchids, bromeliads and ferns. However, it was Greg who suggested we ‘sign up’ after I told him that the Dallas Arboretum was looking for volunteers for their Holiday Village last year. We enjoyed it so much, we decided volunteering year-round was a great idea.” Since they started volunteering in November 2020, they have clocked more than 600 hours in less than a year.
The Sosbees grew up in Garland, close to the Dallas Arboretum, and met their senior year of high school. Both attended the University of North Texas. After graduation, Judy worked as a kindergarten teacher in Garland ISD for 34 years. Greg worked in risk management, a job that took him around the globe. During their 50-year marriage, their family has grown to include a son, daughter, their spouses and three grandsons — all of whom live in the Dallas area.
At the Dallas Arboretum, they found their special volunteer area at the Children’s Adventure Garden Information Booth. When tram training became available, Greg took advantage of it and now drives a tram talking to the many visitors from around the globe. Judy said: “As a former kindergarten teacher, I enjoy being in the Exploration Center and working with kids firsthand. We also continue to volunteer together at the children’s information booth on busy weekends, and enjoy conducting volunteer training for the Children’s Garden. We are weekly volunteers who seem to always find an additional day to volunteer when help is needed.”
Judy even remarked that she loves when someone recognizes her and says to her, “You were my child’s kindergarten teacher!”
“It makes me happy to get an update on a former student.” Greg has become reacquainted with a former co-worker who also volunteers in the garden.
Greg added, “With the beautiful fall days we have in Dallas, we have a wonderful time enjoying the fresh air and all the miraculous floral and pumpkin displays. Seeing the delight in guests’ faces and enjoying the time spent with other volunteers is a rewarding experience.”
For those interested in volunteering, visit dallasarboretum.org/support/volunteer or email email@example.com or call 214-515-6561. For the latest Autumn at the Arboretum events and activities, visit dallasarboretum.org or the social media channels.