The Gardens of Matter Park holds its beauty thanks to a small team of volunteers in addition to its employed caretakers. One of those volunteers is Chris Mayer, a Master Gardener, Advanced Master Naturalist, and Gardens helper of about five years. Essentially anything stained is the work of Mayer, from the Meadow pavilion to the Children’s Garden to the fencing surrounding the 6‑plus acres of luscious landscape. He has also tackled other projects such as cleaning out and painting the frog statue fountain with the help of his grandson, and watering, especially during his first couple of years to help the staff keep everything health and beautiful.
Gardens employees, Taylere McCoy and Julie Fauser, share high gratitude toward Mayer. “Chris is an incredibly valuable volunteer at the Gardens of Matter Park. He is dedicated and hardworking, and helps make the Gardens look spectacular. We’re so grateful to have his help!”
Mayer is a Marion resident raised in Upland. He attended Eastbrook High School, then later earned a GED then associate’s degree at the Veterinary Technician Institute of Ft. Wayne. He worked about four years as a vet tech in Fulton County, then changed careers to work at Atlas Foundry in Marion.
When asked why he chose to dedicate his free time toward the Gardens, he responded, “To give back. I appreciate all the work they do, and it’s a great asset to the community.”
Mayer is usually at the Gardens volunteering a couple times a week.
Other times, he’s building habitats for wildlife and doing other various projects at the Salamonie Interpretive and Nature Center through the Department of Natural Resources.