I have the problem of not being able to sit still for very long,” said Jane.
“I always like to be moving and active so I started looking for things to do.
When Jane Barrett is asked what her hobbies are, it quickly becomes apparent that volunteering in service to her community IS her hobby. The Silver Spring, Maryland resident retired 10 years ago after a career as Office Manager with a biopharmaceutical company in the Rockville, Maryland area.
"I have the problem of not being able to sit still for very long," says Jane. "I always like to be moving and active so I started looking for things to do."
What she found was the Weed Warrior program with Montgomery County Parks, and a training program that teaches the difference between native and invasive plants. After training, Jane became a Section Steward in a park a block away from her house where invasive plants, trees and vines were overtaking the native species. Jane has worked tirelessly to remove the invasive species from of the park. She says the work has become a labor of love that is keeping a balance in nature. She also hosts high school students at the park as they fulfill Maryland’s mandated 75 hours of community service in order to graduate.
“It’s good for the students and I try to make it educational, so they take something away from the experience,” said Jane. “Plus the kids are young and strong and can help with the heavy vine and weed pulling!”
In addition to her dedicated work at the park, Jane is also part of a local chapter of Warm Up America, knitting hats and blankets for local children’s hospitals. She also makes cat beds and toys for a local animal shelter.
And Jane's service doesn’t stop there--she's also part of the local SWAT team. Well, not the SWAT team you might be thinking of. This is a program called Seniors With Available Time, which offers a plethora of opportunities, from office work assistance to face painting during Children’s Day at the local Brookside Gardens.
“It’s fun and I enjoy it," says Jane. "There is great variety in the different volunteering efforts and I get to spend my days doing things I really enjoy.”
Jane has three children, three grandchildren, and three great grandchildren! She loves spending time with them as well! Her daughter, Wendy Olsson, will be joining Jane on the cruise.