By Nolan Marciniec

Sue Tri­cario admit­ted that books and vol­un­teer­ing are in my life blood” — and that both led her to the Arbore­tum. Sue, the recip­i­ent of the 2018 Vol­un­teer of the Year award, said that her com­mit­ment to Lan­dis’ book shop just seemed the nat­ur­al thing to do.”

Sue has always been an avid read­er, and her read­ing list is eclec­tic and all-inclu­sive. She instilled her love of books in her three chil­dren by read­ing to them from their ear­li­est years on. The Amish barn that hous­es her antiques busi­ness grad­u­al­ly mor­phed” into a used book store. Then one year she read the fine print” on an Arbore­tum plant sale ad and real­ized that books as well as plants were a big part of the spring and fall sales. She worked along­side Ken and Mar­i­on Hotopp and, as she said, their spir­it rubs off.” Sue became a reg­u­lar book shop vol­un­teer and Lan­dis enthusiast.

The Hotopps have will­ing­ly ced­ed some of the respon­si­bil­i­ty for the books sales to Sue, but she said that her men­tors Ken and Mar­i­on will always remain the book­ies” who began the tra­di­tion of book sales at Lan­dis and will remain active­ly involved in its suc­cess. Just last year, the book sale and the raf­fle (which Sue intro­duced) brought in over $2000 in rev­enue for the Arboretum. 

Vol­un­teer­ing is just who she is, she explained. Her vol­un­teer­ing has run the gamut from Can­dy Striper in high school to the Elks in her mar­ried years, from blood dri­ves to soup kitchens. She served as pres­i­dent of the Jef­fer­son His­tor­i­cal Soci­ety and, dur­ing the win­ter months she spends in Flori­da, she is active in the local Friends of the Library.

But her vol­un­teer­ing expe­ri­ence at Lan­dis is dif­fer­ent, she said: it’s “ a unique oppor­tu­ni­ty … [at] a very unique place: the lev­el of coop­er­a­tion is so incred­i­ble. There are no demands: what­ev­er you give is appre­ci­at­ed … ” Sue also point­ed out that it boils down to the peo­ple. I get the warmest feel­ing [from them]. I’ve met such a vari­ety of peo­ple here, but there is a com­mon­al­i­ty in gar­den­ing and books … and pro­tect­ing the land for future generations.” 

Sue grew up on what had been a 70-acre farm in New Jer­sey, and her gar­den there includ­ed both veg­eta­bles and peren­ni­als. But for more than 40 years, she and her fam­i­ly spent their sum­mers in Jef­fer­son, cre­at­ing mem­o­ries that she and the chil­dren still cher­ish. Sue per­ma­nent­ly relo­cat­ed to Schoharie Coun­ty after her retire­ment from the legal depart­ment at John­son & John­son in New Brunswick, NJ – tak­ing care to bring a cut­ting of a lilac that grew in her grandmother’s gar­den. Although she has accli­mat­ed to life in Upstate NY, she admit­ted that the short grow­ing sea­son still leaves her with green toma­toes in August! (She has since dis­cov­ered Shaul’s pro­duce stand.) I’ve lived a blessed life,” Sue said. She counts the Arbore­tum as one of her bless­ings. And we are blessed to have her.

Spring 2019

Volume 37 , Number 1

Share this

The Latest from Landis

Oct 07, 2023 | Nolan Marciniec

The Landis community mourns the loss of Anne Donnelly on October 4, 2023

Anne Donnelly was the first of the many friends I’ve made at the Arboretum and... read more

Oct 01, 2023 | Fred Breglia, Executive Director

From the Director’s Desk: Update on the Big Tree Search

Landis Arboretum has successfully kicked off its most recent Big Tree Search, and the tree... read more

Oct 01, 2023 | Erin McKenna Breglia

From the Garden: Your Autumn Garden Must Haves!

It’s certainly been a rainy summer, but the rain has helped keep our plants green... read more

Oct 01, 2023 | Nolan Marciniec

Landis Portraits: A Series About the People Behind the Plants at the Arboretum - Chuck Mueller

Chuck Mueller Volunteering, Chuck Mueller said, “is something you have to believe in . ... read more

Oct 01, 2023 | Nolan Marciniec

Volunteers Celebrate Meeting House Renovation

Shawn Bevins, Jim Paley, Craig Blevins, Fred Breglia, and Peter Bakal On a Sunday afternoon... read more

Oct 01, 2023 | Sam McClary

Apples and Man: A Book Review

Apples and Man, by Fred Lape “Apples and Man,” written by Arboretum founder Fred Lape... read more

News Archive