David Horst, 45, of Sabula, loves working and playing outdoors.

David grew up in Sabula with parents who did a great deal outdoors. The family spent time hunting, fishing, trapping and gardening. Today, David still enjoys working outside for fun.

He and his wife of 21 years, Nan, work in their yard together and enjoy collecting and growing unusual plants. He said they especially like hostas, alpine plants for their rock garden and dwarf and rare conifers.

Since 1983, David has worked at the Bickelhaupt Arboretum. Back then, he was told there was a job there and thought it sounded interesting. During the years, he has changed from grounds worker, to head of maintenance to horticulturist.

Last year he became the director of horticulture.

During the year, David spends much of his time outside, working on the arboretum grounds. The winter months are when he does a lot of pruning on trees and shrubs, as well as equipment maintenance. He also keeps up to date on plant records, works with volunteers, handles snow removal and starts on plant orders.

During the spring, David works on raking, cleaning up and enlarging the beds and planting. He said in the fall, the major job is cleaning up the leaves.

“I prefer getting my hands dirty and working outside. And I think spring-time is the most rewarding when the plants are blooming,” David said.

David said he enjoys working with other workers and volunteers and making the arboretum look the best it can. He gets a lot of enjoyment out of making it look nice. He hopes people come out to see and enjoy the arboretum.

David has an Associates in Arts degree from Muscatine Community College in science. He attends classes and meetings to help keep up on his education. David said he enjoys working at the arboretum during all seasons of the year. He plans to continue working there for awhile.

David has a step-son Ryan and two grandchildren. He serves as an advisor for the city of Clinton Street Tree Commission, is a member of Lyons Lodge 93 and a committee member of Clinton Whitetails Unlimited.

He is also a volunteer for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at Lost Mound. David was named the 2009 Outstanding Professional in Iowa by the Iowa Urban and Community Forestry Council.