Always the first to raise her hand to volunteer with Friends of Tucker Parks and Henderson Park, Claire Hayes’ contagious community spirit and willingness to “dig in the dirt” truly embodies what it means to be the City of Tucker’s Citizen of the Month.
I had the honor of seeing Claire spring into action when she joined the Friends of Tucker Parks almost 10 years ago back when the organization was in its infancy and operated by Park Pride. As a master gardener and former Executive Director of both the Dunwoody Nature Center and Woodland Gardens, Claire enthusiastically offered her time, expertise, and attention to serving as the special visionary partner to the Friends of Tucker Parks. Through that service, she drafted the organization’s bylaws and organized events each year.
One of the most successful events in the history of the park was one she led called Hi-Henderson in 2018. Serving as the event chair, she worked to engage the community to come play in the park on a Sunday afternoon in September. With more than 400 people in attendance, the event included food trucks and a variety of activities for the whole family such as a hike around the park, a special birding hike, and a Bartlett tree giveaway. Many other community groups also participated in this Henderson festival day thanks to her creative planning and successful volunteer coordination efforts.
When she is not busy volunteering her time for the Friends of the Parks groups and jumping into any volunteer workday or master gardener project at the Native Plant and Wildlife Walk, you can find her sharing her love of music by singing as a soloist and cantor in the Choir at Holy Cross Catholic Church. And when the theatre is back, she will be sitting in the front row to catch the next aspiring thespians take the stage for Main Street Tucker.
A friend to everyone she meets, Claire is committed to using her leadership talents to organizing special events for the neighborhood. Not only was she a founding member of the neighborhood book club, but she helped start the neighborhood garden.
It is for Claire’s amazing community spirit, leadership and long-term volunteer service that I nominate her for the City of Tucker’s Citizen of the Month.
Nomination by Cara Schroeder