Landis Portraits: Darcy and Chet Zink

By Nolan Marciniec

Dar­cy and Chet Zink attribute their time spent at the Arbore­tum to the ener­gy of vol­un­teer­ing.” Both agree that meet­ing peo­ple with a shared pas­sion for the envi­ron­ment has been con­ta­gious” and reward­ing, while con­fess­ing that new plants are def­i­nite­ly an added bonus!

They didn’t hes­i­tate to admit that it was their two chil­dren, Alisha and Ian, who first brought them to Lan­dis about 20 years ago. Chet con­ced­ed that free” and out­doors” were a sell­ing point. Dar­cy remem­bered that it was a sti­fling sum­mer day when they vis­it­ed. The fam­i­ly walked the trails, sat under the Great Oak, and enjoyed a picnic. 

After becom­ing mem­bers and shop­ping at the plant sales, vol­un­teer­ing was inevitable. Dar­cy con­fessed that it was all her doing, but Chet insist­ed it was a dual effort.” Con­tact­ed by Vol­un­teer Coor­di­na­tor Anne Don­nel­ly, the Zinks have now become reg­u­lars at plant sales and musi­cal events. This year, they rep­re­sent­ed the Arbore­tum at the Win­ter Fest at Gilboa. They cer­tain­ly would have been at this spring’s plant sale too, if they hadn’t had a trip to the British Isles with Darcy’s pen­pal (since ele­men­tary school) from Australia. 

Both are recent­ly retired from stress­ful and demand­ing jobs. Retire­ment has been full: activ­i­ties like hik­ing and kayak­ing, knit­ting (Dar­cy), wood­work­ing (Chet), church, social­iz­ing, trav­el­ing .… and, of course, gar­den­ing. Their Glenville gar­dens fea­ture a bed of David Austin ros­es, a hos­ta-lined dri­ve­way, and sev­er­al raised beds of veg­eta­bles. The peren­ni­al gar­dens include many of Darcy’s mother’s plants. Every year she uses seeds to grow a zin­nia gar­den to remem­ber her moth­er, who loved zinnias.

The cou­ple is enthralled with all that Lan­dis has to offer. Chet is intrigued by the kind of learn­ing that takes place at the Arbore­tum, say­ing, This learn­ing from peo­ple … is a lost part of edu­ca­tion.” Dar­cy inter­ject­ed that there’s always some­body who knows” at the Arbore­tum, adding that every­one we’ve ever met at the Arbore­tum has been won­der­ful.” Chet instanced the Ed Miller Native Plant Trail, which gives vis­i­tors an oppor­tu­ni­ty to com­pare vari­a­tions with­in a species. They both want to explore the new Water­fall Trail. Chet thinks of the view from the Meet­ing House deck. Dar­cy thinks of the flow­er­ing quince that got away at a pre­vi­ous plant sale. 

Both Chet and Dar­cy fol­lowed a path famil­iar to many vol­un­teers. It’s a trail that begins with just one vis­it, then the splen­dor of the place demands that, through their effort, future gen­er­a­tions will enjoy and love it as well.

Summer 2016

Volume 34 , Number 3

Share this

The Latest from Landis

Aug 06, 2022

Landis Forest 5K - August 6, 2022

A record turnout! Click here to view all the great photos from this event, and... read more

Jun 10, 2022 | Anne Donnelly

Don't Overlook Your Reciprocal Admissions Privilege

A sometimes overlooked benefit of your Landis Arboretum membership is the American Horticultural Society Reciprocal... read more

May 29, 2022

Scenes From the Spring Plant Sale

Thanks to our many wonderful volunteers, plant consignors, vendors, and customers, the Landis Signature Spring... read more

May 28, 2022 | Fred Breglia, Executive Director

From the Director’s Desk: Q&A, Part III

In this last Q&A session, I am focusing on leaf color change during the... read more

May 28, 2022 | Erin McKenna Breglia, Landis Gardener

From the Garden: Milkweeds for Monarchs!

Many people enjoy seeing butterflies in our Landis gardens. especially the monarch butterfly, Danaus... read more

May 28, 2022 | Anita Sanchez

Life and Death on the Lawn

It’s a beautiful summer day. You’ve finished your stack of books from the Landis... read more

News Archive