Each month, Burritt on the Mountain recognizes a volunteer who goes above and beyond to assist guests and staff. This month, we celebrate March’s Volunteer of the Month, Dick Christiansen. Late last summer, Dick joined Burritt’s volunteer team helping with our Adopt-A-Mile program which we sponsor through City of Huntsville’s Operation Green Team. He has made a HUGE difference on the drive up the mountain on Monte Sano Blvd. from Panorama down to Governors Dr. keeping the roadway clean and picking up litter Monday thru Friday. His efforts make the drive so welcoming to Burritt and the mountain community. He say’s “Walking the mountain is far more enjoyable than exercising at the gym!”
To get to know Dick better, we asked him Why Volunteer at Burritt on the Mountain? in three questions:
How did you get involved with Burritt on the Mountain? I got involved officially after seeing a request in the Burritt newsletter asking for volunteers to help with the Adopt-A-Mile. And BTW technically, it’s Adopt-a-one point two miles. At least according to my odometer 🙂 I was curious and drove it to find out. And that’s just one direction. Up and back down it’s twice that distance. (I used to be a math whiz) But calling it “Adopt-a-two point four mile” doesn’t roll off the tongue as well. And might scare off potential volunteers.
What do you find most rewarding? The reward I get from picking up “The Boulevard” is instant. There’s trash on our beautiful mountain and then instantly it’s gone! You don’t have to run it past a committee and see if a majority vote to remove it. Nope. I see trash, make the command decision myself, and it’s history. When there’re beer cans, wine bottles, fast food bags and wrappers and hundreds of cigarette butts scattered along the roadside it really spoils the wonderful ride up the mountain and the entrance to Burritt.
Speaking of which, it only takes 2 minutes and 15 seconds from Governors Drive four lane to Panorama Drive on the top if you go the speed limit. If you sped up at to 45 MPH, which many do, you only cut your commute time by 30 seconds or so. Hardly worth it, and besides you miss the really pleasant ride through the forests of Round Top and Monte Sano. After a hard day at work or a frustrating commute in traffic on Governors Drive, let yourself unwind on the peaceful, relaxing and scenic drive to summit. Instead of rushing that last section, take your time and look forward to it each day.
What do you think makes Burritt such a special place? Burritt is a special place, and likely what Dr. Burritt saw when he chose it for his home. It’s special first off for the spectacular view of the city below. Living on Monte Sano back in the dark ages, my friends and I used to ride our bikes up to Burritt’s bluff and watch the old Southern Airways DC-3’s swoop down over downtown, and then over Montgomery Wards at Parkway City shopping center. The runway at the old airport started about where the Cracker Barrel is at Drake and the Parkway, so you could see the planes all the way to when their wheels touched the pavement. Sometimes we’d walk down to the cross. Sometimes just explore the woods. Today of course there’s even more to see and explore thanks to all of the period buildings, folklife demonstrations, and educational programs. Not to mention the wonderful Baron Bluff. And I haven’t even mentioned the first building and the reason Burritt exits, Dr. Burritt’s unique house. Whether it’s old time music, the City Lights events or the Candlelight Christmas celebration, Burritt is a gift to the city that you can unwrap year after year.
We greatly appreciate Dick’s valued time and efforts to help fulfill Burritt’s mission to enhance lives in our community. He is doing a great job making an impact one step at a time, trash bag in hand and a smile and a wave along the roadway. When you see him wave back!
Many thanks, Dick, for your dedication and commitment. We could not do it without you!
Dick works faithfully because of his love and passion for Burritt and the people here. Many, like Dick are here because they have a deep-rooted desire for volunteerism and helping others, not accolades. Won’t you volunteer with us too?
February 2021 – Bill Caudill
January 2021 – Al and Kate Drost
December 2020 – AnaGrace Russell
November 2020 – Donna Smith
October 2020 – Cheryl and Billy Rice
September 2020 – Sari Oosta
August 2020 – Bart Bankowski
July 2020 – Connor Diaz
June 2020 – Judy Link
May 2020 – Burritt Family Members
April 2020 –Rocket City Regulators
March 2020 – Sandy River Ramblers
Each year, Burritt on the Mountain recognizes a volunteer who goes above and beyond to assist our guests and staff. We are excited to announce Sari Oosta as the Volunteer of the Year.
In 2020, Sari volunteered approximately 200 hours focusing on the educational programming of the national women’s suffrage movement and the centennial celebration of 19th Amendment through presentations and exhibit at Burritt. Sari helps the Education Department with a variety of projects and programs and also is a mansion docent giving engaging historic information about Dr. Burritt and his unique home and current exhibits on display.
We greatly appreciate Sari’s valued time, energy, ideas and skills to help fulfill Burritt’s mission to enhance lives in our community.