We Are The Hermitage


Russell Flynn has been a volunteer in our gardens & grounds for the past four years. He is nick-named affectionately "the poet" for his quirky, comical poems and stories inspired by his time at the Hermitage.  His musings are a hit among his fellow gardens & grounds volunteers.

Often working one-on-one with our Curator of Gardens, Yolima Carr, Russell has been part of a dedicated group who contribute their time weekly to help keep our gardens beautiful for visitors to enjoy throughout the spring, summer, and fall months.  It isn't easy being green, let alone maintaining 12 acres!  It is time-consuming and truly a labor of love.  But these guys (and gals) sure enjoy what they do here and never forget to have fun!

How long have you been volunteering at The Hermitage Museum?  How often do you volunteer?
"This will be my fourth year."  Russell comes in about twice a week, giving roughly 6 hours or more of his time a week.

 What are some of your typical tasks?
"It's the grunt work-- the stuff nobody else wants to do," he chuckles.  "A lot of it is cutting vines, digging, pulling weeds." Lately, they've been busy working on pulling out thephragmites, which are an invasive plant that dominate the marsh areas and are intrusive to the wetlands environments.

What is your favorite aspect of being involved in The Hermitage? And what has your experience been so far?
"The camaraderie."  Russell says there is a good relationship with Yolima and the other volunteers, so it is a lot of fun to chat and get to work with all of them.  Russell says of his volunteering: "It's been an excellent experience!  It's fun to come in. The others have their own fortes, too, so you learn a lot about gardening, but you are also learning about a lot of other things because the others are so knowledgeable." 

What are your other hobbies, skills, or interests?
"Well, I am a writer.  I have written a few things about the Hermitage," he chuckles.  But I also really enjoy working on the marshes and wetlands projects."

Thank you so much for your sharing your volunteering experience with us, Russell, and thank you for your dedication to the Hermitage throughout the years!   



Paul D. Meadors (1948-2016)

"We are extremely saddened by the recent loss of one of our dear friends and Hermitage Museum docents, Paul Meadors. Paul has been a major part of the Hermitage Museum experience for many years. Beginning his training at the museum in 2010, Paul was a well-respected and extremely knowledgeable volunteer. He was truly passionate about sharing his love and appreciation of the museum, its history, and collection with visitors. He conducted many of our group tours throughout the years, and brought a distinct charm and sense of humor to his work here.

Originally a native of Kentucky, Paul made his life and career in the Hampton Roads area serving as an assistant principal of the Virginia Beach School District until his retirement. He was also active with the local LGBT community, and more recently, a beloved tour guide with Phillips Tours. He will be truly missed by our volunteers, staff, and community."

- Lindsay Neal, Visitor Services Manager