VOLUNTEER - Janet Smith

Description of Individual or Organization

Janet D. Smith has been active in the gardening community for about 15 years and a member of multiple organizations for almost as long. She is a member of the Dallas County Master Gardeners, North Texas Master Naturalists, the Dallas chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas and an avid monarch lover. She’s even dedicated one of her vacations to trek the mountains of Mexico to witness the awe of the wintering monarchs.

Leadership (Nominee demonstrates leadership through example, knowledge, attitude)

Janet has coordinated the Native Plant Society of Texas’ Native Landscape Certification Program for the Dallas chapter, at least two classes a year for the last six years. She found and scheduled instructors to teach classes as well as organized all the volunteers to put on the classes, trained them, assigned tasks, and made sure they followed through. 

She is the Master Gardener originator and project leader for the 12 year-old White Rock Demonstration Gardens that includes the Bath House Pollinator Garden where she oversee an enthusiastic team of about ten Master Gardeners and a few community volunteers. 

Several fellow community members comment what a great mentor she is; continuing to organize field trips, letting everyone know of upcoming classes, interesting lectures, articles and books, introducing others to the Master Gardeners, Master Naturalists, and Native Plant Society of Texas groups, and encouraging others to become speakers – all with her kind smile and infectious laugh.

Environmental Impact (Nominee demonstrates a positive impact on the local environment via policy change, product offering, significant volunteer contribution or other achievement)

Janet has volunteered with the Master Gardeners for almost 6,000 hours since 2005 and over 1,200 hours with the Master Naturalists since 2011. Many of these hours have been volunteering at Texas Discovery Gardens, the Bath House Pollinator Garden, as well as countless other projects and locations around Dallas county. She won a spot on the City of Dallas Water Utilities WaterWise Landscape Tour and showed her garden for four years. She was also the MG liaison to DWU for ten years, volunteering in the judging, volunteer organization, speaking at the HQ and arranging for others speakers. In 2014 she wrote a booklet for the NTMN on Inviting Nature Back Home, a tutorial for entry level gardeners about the importance of providing good habitat for pollinators, birds, and other critters while being kind to the environment. In 2018, she was a judge for the NPSOT Bring Back the Monarchs to Texas garden grant program

Community Impact (Nominee demonstrates commitment to DFW green community through involvement with causes, business ventures or organizations)

Janet has several wonderful presentations and is consistently a popular member of the MG Speakers Bureau, giving about thirty presentation a year since 2006. Her presentations are well done - full of information, with just the right amount of humor and humility. She was a leader of the Bureau at one time, including receiving the MG Speaker of the Year award in 2010.  She was also named Volunteer of the Year for large associations by the Texas Master Gardeners in 2010. She generously shares her knowledge of plants, butterflies, and hummingbirds, while encouraging all of us to use native plants to feed nature. She energetically shares her passion for the natural world, enriching many of our lives.

Other reasons for your nomination

Prior to her gardening interest, Janet served eight years on the Board of For the Love of the Lake where she coordinated the Send Saturday Shoreline Spruce-Up for four years, served ten years as a volunteer coordinator for the Dallas White Rock Marathon and was one of the first members of the Stream Team that tested water in creeks feeding into White Rock Lake. In 2005 she was awarded Hearts of Hope Award by the Volunteer Center of Dallas County.  Her generosity and outreach across many organizations for almost three decades compels us to show her how much we appreciate her by nominating Janet D. Smith for your wonderful Coke Buchanan Volunteer of the Year award.