As we approach a new year, we look forward to the many opportunities ahead. We also turn our thoughts back to the projects completed this past year and give thanks to all of Landis’ friends who have made them possible.
In the past year, The Iroquois Community Grant Program funded signage for the Ed Miller Native Plant Trail. These photo-metal signs with QR codes have been designed to complement this educational trail. Other grants awarded throughout the year included the Stewarts Holiday Match grant, which paid for our family-friendly nature education programs hosted by George Steele. We also received funding from the Schoharie County Tourism events marketing grant, allowing us to air multiple TV commercials through the summer about various events at Landis. A Community Arts Grant was awarded to help underwrite the popular Full Moon Music Series, enabling us to offer free admission to children 12 and under.
Our biggest grant award came from the Environmental Protection Agency in the form of a Zoo/Botanical Garden/Aquarium (ZBGA) Grant. This grant allows us to continue our mission: to educate the public about trees and other plants and their importance in our environment.
New friends and old joined us this year to memorialize deceased loved ones. Ten new picnic tables were given in memory of Cutter, a canine friend. An oak tree was planted near the Great Oak in memory of Esperance resident Jeremy LaJeunesse.
Other gifts include two new Adirondack chairs on our Meeting House deck from Jim Paley and Wendy Kass. In November, longtime Landis volunteer and friend Art Coleman donated $15,000 to be used for specific projects that include the ongoing maintenance of the Native Plant Trail, an upgrade to our entire BG Base system (which records valuable information about our plant holdings), and the replacement of our declining Lilac Collection.
Landis also received generous sponsor support for our 10th Perennial Forest 5K Run/Walk, as well as a Family Picnic Membership Drive and our annual NYS Wine Tasting. Both of our plant sales exceeded expectations, and the Full Moon Concert Series saw an even greater attendance than in past seasons. The Upper Catskill String Quartet graciously gave a free performance in our Meeting House, and the Landis Garden Club’s whimsically decorated rain barrels were raffled off to help fund the club’s gardening activities.
2016 saw significant property improvements: we were able to replace all of the Farm House windows with energy efficient frames, and the Greenhouse is being refurnished with a new frame and polycarbonate panels.
2016 also saw the installation of several large sculptures, courtesy of artists Edwin Falk and Sam E.
For all of this and more, we are grateful to the community and, indeed, to all our friends for their continued support. Our sustainability relies on the generosity of those that contribute in many ways, including and especially the volunteers who give their time to keep us “growing.” We look forward to 2017 with the expectation of an even better year!