Featured Volunteer: Sara Maxwell

Sara is one of our behind-the-scenes volunteers, where the tasks are endless the atmosphere is (usually) quiet. Although you may not see her when you walk in the door, her work doesn’t go unnoticed. She’s a pleasure to have in the office and we’re grateful for her hard work. We hope you enjoy reading about Sara. 

PEEC: How long have you been in Los Alamos?

S.M.: I was born and raised here. I’ve also had the chance to live in many other beautiful places including New England and London, England! In New Mexico, my two brothers and I spent lots of time outside as kids, and now get to share that enjoyment of nature with our families and loved ones. I’m glad to be back.

PEEC: How did you get involved with PEEC? 

S.M.: I asked the PEEC staff if there was a way I could be a part of all the great things PEEC does, and the answer was yes! My mom, Marilyn, also volunteers with PEEC.

PEEC: What are your jobs with PEEC?

S.M. I have recently enjoyed behind-the-scenes work such as data entry and helping transfer PEEC’s scheduled events to their online platform, letting the public know when PEEC programs are happening.  I also help with fundraising mailers and member newsletters.

PEEC: What do you enjoy most about volunteering?

S.M.: It is uplifting to come together to celebrate everyone’s different passions and interests in a common desire to share love of nature and the world. Getting to learn about what adventures and discoveries others have made is so much fun. I always leave PEEC feeling refreshed and happy!

PEEC: Do you have any advice for people interested in volunteering?

S.M.: We all have something unique to contribute in many different ways. Believe in what fills your heart and ask how you can share it.

PEEC:In your opinion, what’s the most important work PEEC does?

S.M.: When I was young, there were always outdoor adventures to be explored, yet less of a center hub for gathering. PEEC provides a beautiful space (including an incredible planetarium!) and a wealth of activities to share. The nature center brings the community together.

PEEC: What outdoor hobbies do you enjoy?

S.M.: Some of my very favorite things to do are exploring nature, walking along the wooded trails, and watching the night sky and moon.

PEEC: Best outdoor experience in the Los Alamos area?

S.M.: The first time I saw a bobcat in the canyon was unforgettable. Being able to live among animals like coyote, deer, birds, and the occasional bear is amazing.

PEEC: What do you love about the Pajarito Plateau?

S.M.: Autumn in New Mexico is especially brilliant with sunsets, golden aspen leaves shimmering in the wind, and the delicious vanilla scented sap of the pine trees.

PEEC: What is on your wish list for PEEC for the next 10 years?

S.M.: The planetarium continuously sparks my imagination of the vast universe and magical wonderment it holds. Hip hip hooray for support and use in all ways for PEEC’s incredible planetarium! Keep the planetarium programs coming.

PEEC: Best memory working with PEEC? 

S.M.: Many of my fondest memories are experiencing multiple generations of families and age groups finding joy together in nature.

PEEC: If you could be a local animal which would you pick?

S.M.: I would like to be a pika even for a day.  They are very fuzzy!

Article by Christa Tyson, PEEC Visitor Services Manager

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