WVBG welcomes our newest staff members, Rachelle Thorne as Volunteer Coordinator and Jessica (Jess) Kaplan as Environmental Educator.
Rachelle’s background in Parks & Recreation Management and extensive science background are bonus perks to her friendly personality and love for the Garden. Rachelle says “The WVBG has been my place of refuge ever since I moved to Morgantown. I love the hemlocks, Tibb’s Run, the gardens, and the community of people that visit and appreciate how special this place is. The staff and volunteers have
done an amazing job and it’s an absolute honor to work here.” Rachelle is excited to work with our many existing volunteers as well as welcome new ones to help grow and shape this amazing place! You can reach her at volunteers@wvbg.org to discuss how you might best serve West Virginia’s Garden or by filling out our online volunteer form at wvbg.org.

Jess has an extensive background in environmental education and is also currently a graduate student at WVU where she is researching the impacts of environmental education and citizen science on youth learning. She was a guest instructor at WVBG’s summer nature camps and Natural Wellness for Girls program last year where she taught youngsters about water quality and citizen science. Jess says “my passion has always been connecting people to the natural world and I feel that working at the WVBG is a natural fit with my past experience and current career focus.” We couldn’t agree more and are happy to have her on our team.


Rachelle Thorne and daughter Gwenyth.

Photo by Rachelle Thorne.

Jess Kaplan with a group of WVBG campers.

Photo by Erin Smaldone.

Originally published in our Spring 2020 newsletter.


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