Name: Maryrose Conklyn
Age: 65
Town of Residence: Niantic

What’s your ‘real’ job: Retired from Pfizer Inc.

maryrose selfie

What do you do as a DPNC volunteer? I volunteer at the DPNC Coogan Farm Giving Garden. My activities include field preparation (rock clearing, soil restoration, etc.), the usual garden activities of planting, cultivating and harvesting, as well as serving on the leader team for the Garden. I also photograph and post many volunteer activities and the garden’s seasonal progression on the Giving Garden Facebook page.

How long have you been doing it? 2 years

Why do you do it? I was looking to expand my community involvement through participation in a group dedicated to alleviating food insecurity in New London County.

What’s the genesis of your wonderful support for the Nature Center? I became aware of the Coogan Farm project and the need for volunteers through a story published in the Day in 2014. I have been active in this project since spring of 2014, participating in field clearing in the planting area. When time came to form defined gardening groups, I was invited by Jane Allen to join the group she was organizing with members of the All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church in New London. I returned to the Garden this spring.


What’s your favorite part of what you do at DPNC? I have so many favorite activities in the garden – the journey from seed to sprout to mature flowering plant and a ripe farm-fresh vegetable that is crated and loaded into the United Way Gemma E. Moran Food Bank truck. On a personal note, I have received such great benefit from this activity. When you volunteer, you increase the number of “people with good hearts” in your life. I have been made the richer for knowing the garden’s many volunteers. I was surprised to realize one day, as I was leaving the garden, that I felt such a peaceful sense of well-being. You just can’t beat that kind of return from an activity.