Allison Bourke tackles her "rocky Connecticut soil" with a backhoe, a gift from her mother. For many years, she was an avid student in classes at the New York Botanical Garden, earning a certificate in commercial horticulture. Allison now serves on NYBG's horticulture committee and patrons’ committee. In her home town, she is a member of the Greenwich Garden Club, is on the board of Audubon Greenwich, and serves as secretary of Family Centers, a local nonprofit organization offering education and human services. She joined the Garden Conservancy board of directors in 2009.