Celebrating 55 Years of Volunteer Service

January 24, 2024 Jennifer Ackerfield , Head Curator of Natural History Collections & Associate Director of Biodiversity Research

Loraine Yeatts, one of our most dedicated volunteers in the Kathryn Kalmbach Herbarium of Vascular Plants, recently celebrated a remarkable milestone: 55 years of unwavering service. Loraine’s botanical dedication is exceptional. She has devoted much of her life to the collection, processing and identification of herbarium specimens. 

Loraine’s botanical exploits have taken her from the hanging gardens of the Western Slope, up to the high alpine tundra and down to the grasslands and canyons of the eastern plains. She has joined Gardens staff on countless botanical expeditions and has even been the primary collector for more than 5,300 specimens from places such as Rocky Mountain National Park, the Colorado Plateau and her beloved backyard playground, South Table Mountain. Loraine spent much of her botanical journey collecting and studying two captivating plant genera in particular: Penstemon and Eriogonum. Her meticulous collection of these species has not only enriched our natural history collections but also contributed to a deeper understanding of these unique plants.

In the herbarium, Loraine has tirelessly processed herbarium specimens, ensuring that each pressed plant is meticulously mounted and catalogued. Her keen eye and expert botanical knowledge make sure that our specimen collections are properly identified. To me, she has always been a botanical legend. A force of botanical knowledge and inspiration. Her tireless dedication is truly inspirational. And her deep-rooted love of the natural world continues to inspire future generations of botanists. 

Here’s to a volunteer who has not only preserved the botanical richness of Colorado and the West but has also cultivated a community of plant lovers. Thank you for over half a century of dedicated service. Cheers to you, Loraine!


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