Behind the Parks: Meet Bryan at Inniswood Metro Gardens

Photo: Bryan in the Fir Tree Forest at Inniswood, looking back towards Innis House.
Public Gardens Manager, Inniswood Metro Gardens
What I do at Metro Parks:
I’ve been a Metro Parks team member for 20 years and became the Public Gardens Manager here at Inniswood Metro Gardens in February 2019. My role as Public Gardens Manager includes the standard duties that any Park Manager would face, but there are nuances, as I have a horticultural department to manage. As a botanical garden, Inniswood has cultivated as well as natural areas, so it’s a different experience for guests and my role includes a little more of an educational component.
What I love most about my job:
I love working with my team, who are all so committed and enthusiastic about Metro Parks and their work. I’ve learned an enormous amount about plants and their care, which is an ongoing satisfaction for me, and I oversee an outdoor space that brings joy to hundreds of thousands of guests every year.
My favorite Metro Parks activity:
My wife and I love to cycle, and our favorite ride in Metro Parks is the Blacklick Creek Greenway Trail section from Heron Pond in Three Creeks up to Pickerington Ponds. It’s about 21 miles, there and back, and is a beautiful and curvy trail that runs through the Blacklick Creek watershed. We also love kayaking, and a 4-mile float from the Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park canoe access south to Osprey Lake is our favorite route and a wonderful way to wile away two or three hours on the water on a summer evening.
How can guests get involved with Metro Parks at Inniswood? 
Anyone can become at volunteer at Inniswood by joining Inniswood Volunteers Inc., a nonprofit organization created to support and promote the development of Inniswood Metro Gardens.

Volunteers help with many aspects of Inniswood’s operations, including garden maintenance, tours, educational programs and special events, and various horticultural and educational opportunities are available throughout the year. With more than 300 members strong, our fun, energetic and dedicated volunteers provide hundreds of hours of service each month and are crucial to the success of Inniswood Metro Gardens. For an added bonus, volunteers can become members in the Inniswood Garden Society with 40 hours of service.

Requirements for being a volunteer include $15 in annual dues, and every March, new volunteers must complete a training program. The training and continued involvement throughout the year helps volunteers gain practical knowledge needed to participate in, garden maintenance, assisting with programs and events, garden décor and beautification, greenhouse operations and more.

This year, interested applicants will be required to attend a one-day training on either Thursday, March 10 or Saturday, March 12 from 9AM to 4PM.

For more information, details and application materials, please contact Terri Bassett-Smith at 614.985.6226 or

Come join the Inniswood Volunteer Inc. community and dig your hands into the dirt, learn new skills, make new friends and support the mission of Metro Parks!

To learn more about Inniswood Metro Gardens, click here.

To learn more about Inniswood Garden Society, click here.

For more information on Metro Parks, visit

Bryan Knowles was talking to Communications Coordinator, Virginia Gordon