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

By Nolan Marciniec

From his Duanes­burg home, across the val­ley and due east from the Meet­ing House deck, Steve Per­og can hear the Bur­tonsville Falls – and he can see the Arbore­tum. He’s a good neigh­bor, one any­one would love to have.

A long­time res­i­dent of the Schoharie Val­ley, it wasn’t until fif­teen or so years ago that Steve first vis­it­ed the Arbore­tum, lead­ing a group of cub scouts on a hike. Even the black flies did not sti­fle his enthu­si­asm. (Those insects were all a part of the Upstate New York equa­tion” he quipped.) Even then, he was impressed by Fred Lape’s beau­ti­ful dream” of pro­vid­ing a place for the pub­lic to enjoy and learn about nature, as well as the curat­ed col­lec­tions of plants that, in his mind, makes Lan­dis unique. But plants aren’t his only inter­est, as he is intrigued by the geo­log­i­cal forces that shaped his neigh­bor­hood — the Schoharie Val­ley and the Arbore­tum. He cred­its Robert Titus’ book, The Catskills Dur­ing the Ice Age,” for fuel­ing that interest.

Steve served as a mem­ber of the Board of Trustees. Cur­rent­ly serv­ing as an active mem­ber of the Build­ings and Grounds Com­mit­tee, he has donat­ed both his time and his con­struc­tion exper­tise. He was instru­men­tal in the ren­o­va­tion of the Ray­mond Green­house. The work includ­ed replac­ing the wood­en sup­port beams, installing a new roof, pour­ing a grav­el floor, and pro­vid­ing wood­en walk­ways. The green­house now sup­plies Lan­dis Grown” plants for its plant sales. It’s always a great feel­ing to see a project to fruition,” he said. 

Steve is also a reg­u­lar at Arbore­tum events such as the plant sales and the Full Moon Con­cert series. More than a decade ago, he and his wife, Cheryl, pur­chased an entire gar­den pack­age” at an Arboretum’s Spring Plant Sale, as advised by Lan­dis’ pan­el of hor­ti­cul­tur­al experts. The gar­den is now mature, hav­ing pro­vid­ed many sea­sons of plea­sure. Steve admit­ted that his gar­den­ing now amounts to pulling a few weeds.”

front of welcome sign

Vis­i­tors to the Arbore­tum will be greet­ed by a hand­some new wel­come sign, which was pro­duced by Steve’s com­pa­ny, Cap­i­tal Sup­ply, Inc. Cap­i­tal Sup­ply, in busi­ness since 1990, dis­trib­utes prod­ucts to high­way depart­ments in the Cap­i­tal Region. These include such mate­ri­als as street signs, spe­cial­ty chem­i­cals, and pro­tec­tive cloth­ing. Cer­ti­fied as an OSHA safe­ty train­er, Steve is proud that Cap­i­tal Sup­ply con­tributes to a safer work­ing envi­ron­ment for its clients. 

Reverse of welcome sign

I’m hap­py to make a con­tri­bu­tion and hap­py that oth­ers are doing the same,” he said. He ful­ly believes that incre­men­tal giv­ing” will make the world a bet­ter place. His ser­vice to the Arbore­tum proves the truth of that belief. We can change the world,” he added, even a coat of paint, one paver at a time.” It’s what good neigh­bors do.

Summer 2022

Volume 40 , Number 2

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