Carrie McDonald

Carrie McDonald

Manager of Volunteer Services

Carrie has worked at the Wildflower Center in various capacities since 2004, managing the 800-person volunteer program beginning in 2006. She earned a bachelor’s from Rice University in 1991, followed by graduate work at Stanford University, including botany. She was hired into the horticulture staff at the Wildflower Center in 2005 and is currently on the management team. She has served as national co-chair (2012) and chair (2013 – 2015) of the American Public Gardens Association’s Volunteer Engagement section and has been published in the association’s Public Gardens magazine.

Like Plutarch, Carrie believes education is more akin to lighting a fire than filling a bucket; she credits her middle school science teacher and related plant collection project with sparking her curiosity for the natural world. High school Latin made scientific names easy to remember, and her involvement with 4-H didn’t hurt, either. From a career in graphic design, volunteer tree planting with Friends of the Urban Forest, and gardening at her daughter’s schools to grassland restoration work and Master Gardener certification, learning about plants and engaging people’s enthusiasm for the flora around them has been a constant in Carrie’s life. She continues to light that fire for our staff, volunteers, visitors, home gardeners, budding landscape architects from The University of Texas at Austin, homeowners associations, urban forestry boards and anyone else who will listen.

Connect with Carrie on LinkedIn.


Farmers markets, architecture, The New York Times crossword puzzle


Ilex decidua, Berlandiera lyrata, Taxodium distichum


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