Landis Portraits: Karl Gustafson

By Nolan Marciniec

Karl Gustafson became famil­iar with the Lan­dis Arbore­tum, on paper at least, while work­ing for the Mont­gomery Coun­ty Cham­ber of Com­merce. Last spring curios­i­ty got the bet­ter of him, and he met with Exec­u­tive Direc­tor Fred Breglia at Lan­dis. Look­ing at the Schoharie Val­ley (“breath­tak­ing,” he said) from the deck of the Meet­ing House, Karl admit­ted that it was love at first sight and won­dered why it took him so long to make that first visit.

As one vis­it led to anoth­er: the Fall Plant Sale, the Hal­loween Owl Prowl, a wine tast­ing, Karl con­fessed he was hooked. He offered his mar­ket­ing exper­tise as a way of vol­un­teer­ing, then joined the Board of Trustees in Jan­u­ary and agreed to chair the Arboretum’s Mar­ket­ing Committee.

He avows that he is now pas­sion­ate about Lan­dis. He hopes that he and his com­mit­tee can get the word out and dis­pel the notion of the Arbore­tum as a best kept secret.” If peo­ple vis­it just one time, this place sells itself,” he maintains. 

While there is a lot to adver­tise, two things impressed him most. First, the edu­ca­tion­al oppor­tu­ni­ties the Arbore­tum affords — not only the range of class­es and work­shops, but also the wealth of knowl­edge intrin­sic in the Lan­dis vol­un­teers. Sec­ond, the Arboretum’s beau­ty. He recount­ed that first vis­it and the over­whelm­ing, calm­ing effect it had on him. Most people’s lives nowa­days move at a break­neck pace,” he said and then asked, Who wouldn’t ben­e­fit from slow­ing down time and spend­ing a few hours in nature? How can you put a price tag on that?”

Karl and his wife, Kim, live in Cana­jo­harie. Their son, Karl Jr., is a sopho­more at Hartwick Col­lege in Oneon­ta. Karl con­ced­ed that he did not pos­sess a green thumb, but was hop­ing that by spend­ing more time at the Arbore­tum, some gar­den­ing tal­ent might rub off on him! His oth­er inter­ests are golf­ing, stock car rac­ing, snow­mo­bil­ing – and plan­ning for retirement.” 

Cur­rent­ly, Karl is serv­ing as Mont­gomery County’s Direc­tor of Labor Man­age­ment, but his résumé includes a life­time of expe­ri­ence with State and local gov­ern­ments. He antic­i­pates that the skills that he’s honed over the years will stand the Arbore­tum in good stead. His goal is to work with the Board and his com­mit­tee to open the door and wel­come guests to the Arbore­tum.” He is con­fi­dent that just one vis­it will make a dif­fer­ence in a person’s life.

After all, it did in his.

Summer 2015

Volume 33 , Number 3

Share this

The Latest from Landis

Aug 06, 2022

Landis Forest 5K - August 6, 2022

A record turnout! Click here to view all the great photos from this event, and... read more

Jun 10, 2022 | Anne Donnelly

Don't Overlook Your Reciprocal Admissions Privilege

A sometimes overlooked benefit of your Landis Arboretum membership is the American Horticultural Society Reciprocal... read more

May 29, 2022

Scenes From the Spring Plant Sale

Thanks to our many wonderful volunteers, plant consignors, vendors, and customers, the Landis Signature Spring... read more

May 28, 2022 | Fred Breglia, Executive Director

From the Director’s Desk: Q&A, Part III

In this last Q&A session, I am focusing on leaf color change during the... read more

May 28, 2022 | Erin McKenna Breglia, Landis Gardener

From the Garden: Milkweeds for Monarchs!

Many people enjoy seeing butterflies in our Landis gardens. especially the monarch butterfly, Danaus... read more

May 28, 2022 | Anita Sanchez

Life and Death on the Lawn

It’s a beautiful summer day. You’ve finished your stack of books from the Landis... read more

News Archive