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Volunteer Voices: An Interview with Lindsay McLain

Oakland Cemetery relies on the incredible energy, dedication, and generosity of over two hundred volunteers. Working in the gardens, giving tours, staffing the Visitor Center, or giving countless hours at special and private events, Oakland volunteers never fail to amaze with their passion and commitment. We’ve asked some of Oakland’s volunteers to share their stories of how they became involved as Oakland volunteers and their experiences here.

Tell us a little about yourself
I’m Lindsay McLain, a 33-year-old plant enthusiast and curiosities collector who resides in Stone Mountain with my husband and our two tiny dogs. I appreciate architecture, bird watching, cinema, and all things vintage, particularly the Victorian era.

How did you get involved volunteering at Oakland?
I moved to Atlanta from St. Louis, Missouri in 2006. While familiarizing myself with the city, I decided to ride my bicycle through Oakland Cemetery. I was immediately enchanted. Although it was a few years before I started volunteering, I eventually signed up for Oakland’s second Saturday garden volunteer sessions, and the rest is history.

Why do you volunteer at Oakland?
It is a total labor of love. I volunteer to help beautify and maintain the integrity of Atlanta’s finest botanical and historical destination. I share a mutual appreciation for Oakland with so many others and really value the sense of community I’ve found there. My involvement has been incredibly rewarding.

What do you do at Oakland?
I initially began as a gardens volunteer. Now I’ve become involved with special events including Illumine, Run like Hell, and Capturing the Spirit, and I hope to one day be a tour guide.

What do you like most about volunteering at Oakland?
Beyond the endless educational and therapeutic aspects it possesses, I’m so proud to walk through Oakland and see flowers, shrubs, or trees I’ve helped plant and nurture. Additionally, I have met some of the most incredible friends and mentors through my involvement.

What is your favorite Oakland experience/memory/moment?
Oakland has provided many great times, but I can easily say the most memorable experience for me was getting married before hundreds of friends and family in North Public grounds and celebrating our reception across the street at Ria’s Bluebird. Honestly, people still reminisce about how amazing that day was and I truly felt like a princess. I am honored to be a part of Oakland. It is the most magical place Atlanta has to offer and I look forward to creating many more memories there.

If you would like to volunteer Historic Oakland Cemetery, please email Special Events and Volunteer Manager Mary Fernandez at

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