At the HVCC Flower and Garden Show: Landis Volunteers

By Louise Polli

The Lan­dis Arbore­tum has always been a vis­i­ble pres­ence in the com­mu­ni­ties it serves. One of the best venues for meet­ing poten­tial new vis­i­tors and mem­bers has proved to be the annu­al Flower and Gar­den Expo at Hud­son Val­ley Com­mu­ni­ty Col­lege (HVCC).

At a booth dis­play­ing our cal­en­dar of events, trail map, plant sale poster, Meet­ing House rental infor­ma­tion, and more, vis­i­tors could watch an Arbore­tum video, join our email list, and bring home a spray of pussy wil­lows. But the most valu­able take­away was like­ly the oppor­tu­ni­ty to talk with our friend­ly and knowl­edge­able volunteers.


We first met Lora at the Cobleskill Wildlife Fes­ti­val. Despite the late spring date, the weath­er was a win­tery mix of snow and rogue winds, pen­e­trat­ing the large out­door tent and knock­ing down dis­plays. Lora was well pre­pared and unde­terred from com­plet­ing her day as a Lan­dis vol­un­teer. As we rem­i­nisced about Cobleskill at this afternoon’s HVCC booth, I asked Lora why she con­tin­ued to serve the Arbore­tum. She laughed and said, If I could sur­vive that .…“ When she moved to the Cap­i­tal Region, Lan­dis was one of the first places she found, and she still loves it. In her cur­rent job, she works from home, so her vol­un­teer work at the Arbore­tum gives her a chance to meet new peo­ple and tell them about a mem­o­rable place, a spe­cial destination.

Jim and Jean:

Jim and Jean are new both to the Arbore­tum and to vol­un­teer­ing with us. On their first vis­it, they toured the grounds by them­selves. Jim not­ed, Even self-guid­ed, we had a great time.“ They lat­er par­tic­i­pat­ed in one of our snow­shoe hikes, an expe­ri­ence they found both enter­tain­ing and edu­ca­tion­al. They felt an affin­i­ty for the place. When they received a solic­i­ta­tion for vol­un­teers, they decid­ed to staff the booth togeth­er at Hud­son Val­ley. With Jim just a few weeks away from retire­ment, we hope this is the first of many expe­ri­ences for them as part of the Lan­dis family.

Gus and Louise:

My hus­band Gus and I have been Arbore­tum vol­un­teers for near­ly 14 years. It nev­er grows old. We have had many dif­fer­ent roles, both in pub­lic and behind the scenes. One of our favorites is what is fond­ly called Lan­dis Ambas­sadors”, telling oth­ers about the joys of the Arbore­tum — our plant sales, fam­i­ly-friend­ly pro­grams, music series, every­thing. A beau­ti­ful place, a walk in the woods, a mag­nif­i­cent view, a place to refresh and reflect.

Fred Breglia:

Fred Breglia, our Exec­u­tive Direc­tor, is as much a sta­ple at the Flower and Gar­den Expo as our vol­un­teers at the booth. This year Fred con­duct­ed six pre­sen­ta­tions on top­ics rang­ing from improv­ing soil for bet­ter results, to prop­er prun­ing, to big trees and ancient forests. His pro­grams are always a big hit at the show, and they often encour­age those who haven’t been to Esper­ance to come and see the Arbore­tum for the first time, or for oth­ers, to come back again and again. Like Teri from Lit­tle Falls, who stopped at our booth to chat and pro­claim, Fred’s the Man!”

Lan­dis vol­un­teers bring the Arbore­tum to the greater com­mu­ni­ty. They share their exper­tise, expe­ri­ences, and enthu­si­asm for Lan­dis. They paint a pic­ture of a place you will want to dis­cov­er for the first time or return to after a long time away. They whet your appetite for a pic­nic in the Med­i­ta­tion Gar­den, a hike in the Old Growth forests, a trek through the snow.

Like to join us? Send us a note at Landisvolunteering@​gmail.​com.

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Spring 2023

Volume 41 , Number 1

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