As a free-lance writer and training consultant, Constance Pepin has had the opportunity to schedule volunteer time for the past two seasons at Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden. Her motivation to volunteer is based upon a long-time love of the Garden and wildflowers, as well as from a deepened sense of what is important to her in her own life. “When I read the book, Noah’s Garden, by Sara Stein, it totally changed my perspective about what I could do,” she says. “That book helped me pull together bits and pieces of a growing awareness of how I wanted to shape my own corner of the world. She gave me the information about how to use my energies to restore that small piece of land. So the book came a the right time for me.”
Another influence on Constance was taking a naturalist-let tour of the prairie garden. “One of the naturalists provided all of the names of the plants we saw, and I went out that same day and I purchased several of those plants and put them into my yard.”
Since then, Constance has continued to add to her wildflower garden, gradually removing those plants that didn’t attract butterflies and birds. Her most ambitious project to date has been the removal of an entire concrete driveway that extended from near the property line right up to the house. Replaced with flagstone interspersed with low-growing wild plants, the new, more-environmental drive allows rainwater to be absorbed into the yard instead of contributing to runoff in the lakes area of Minneapolis. “It is very satisfying to feel that I am being a steward of my own yard,” she says.
Besides volunteering at the shelter, Constance has shown her support of the Garden through her membership in Friends of the Wild Flower Garden, as well as through gift memberships - including a lifetime membership she gave to her daughter.
Note 1: Article by Lisa Locken, newsletter editor.
Note 2: This article was published in the Friends newsletter the Fringed Gentian™ Fall 2001 Vol. 49 #4.
Connie was elected to the Fiends Board of Directors in May 2002. She remained on the Board until May 2006 and was historian. She continued to volunteer and work with the Invasives Project Group.