Staff Spotlight: Karla Noboa
Interview with Karla, Volunteer and Programs Coordinator
How did you come to The Greenway?
Serendipity! In my previous job, I discovered the strong bond a volunteer can form with a mission. I found that energy very exciting, and it really encouraged me to pursue volunteer coordination as a career after my AmeriCorps service ended. The Greenway was somewhere I had admired for many years (I even applied to work here in 2015!) and when I was thinking of moving back to the East Coast from Wisconsin, I randomly went on The Greenway’s website and saw that they were hiring a Volunteer Coordinator! Next thing I knew, I was here.
Tell us about your role as Volunteer Coordinator.
The Greenway’s 700+ volunteers help us garden, promote our contemporary public art, facilitate play on the park, take photos of the 450+ free events we host each year, track how our plants grow and change over time, and even create resources for us to utilize on the park. It is my responsibility to organize all of our volunteers in these various roles and to make sure that they are having fun while they’re here!
Can you share a story about a volunteer and what the Conservancy means to them?
The Greenway’s volunteers are a dedicated and impressive group of people that are truly committed to our park. Many of them are residents of the downtown area and consider The Greenway their yard, so they want to contribute to making it beautiful. For others, The Greenway represents positive change in the city and they are excited to be a part of that. It’s hard for me to share a single story, because I hear from volunteers every day that they can’t imagine Boston without The Greenway!
What projects will you be working on this season?
This coming season, I’m excited to work on our zone gardening program. We launched it last year, and are getting ready for the second season. This program has allowed our volunteers to really get to know one area of the park and take ownership of their zone. I love being able to offer someone the opportunity to say, “Hey, you see those flowers over there? I planted those this spring! Those are my flowers!”
Tell us about your favorite part of your job?
My favorite part of my job is getting to know the many people who love The Greenway as much as I do. We have such a diverse group of people with different backgrounds – it’s so interesting to listen to their stories! It’s also always exciting to learn about something I have in common with a volunteer, which always reminds me just how small this world is!
How can people volunteer with The Greenway Conservancy?
There are many ways that you can get involved with The Greenway! We host horticulture volunteer days on the park once a month, and those are open to anyone who would like to garden with us. We also have fun opportunities for those who like art, community engagement, photography, and more. The best way to get involved is to frequently check our website, where we post our current volunteer opportunities and our horticulture opportunities calendar. If you’re interested in volunteering but don’t see an activity that matches your skill set and interests, please reach out as we may have a project for you!
What are you looking forward to most in the upcoming season?
Now that I have my first season under my belt, I am excited to see how things will develop with the amazing group of volunteers that The Greenway is lucky to have. We have so much talent and passion within the program and I always look forward to learning from our volunteers and working with them to make things even better. All it takes is planting one seed to watch The Greenway grow!