Dear Friends of Untermyer Gardens,
Samuel Untermyer created one of the finest gardens in the world, but it suffered a period of great decline. Since 2011 the Conservancy has worked to restore the lost splendor of the gardens for the enjoyment of the public. All you have to do is walk around Untermyer Gardens to see the results of the hard work put in by a staff driven by a passion for what they do. We now have four full-time gardeners and three seasonal workers. But none of this would be possible without the essential support of generous friends like you.
Time and again, visitors express their wonder at how much we have achieved in just seven years on such a tight budget. We own one vehicle and beg or borrow others as needed. We do not have an endowment and receive very modest public funding. We are careful and strategic about how we spend our financial resources. As a result, an extraordinarily high percentage of what we raise -- 77% -- goes straight to our stewardship of the garden.
Here are some exciting new developments planned for next year:
- We will initiate an intensive summer internship program for seven high school students from Yonkers public schools, introducing them to fundamental principles of horticulture and environmental conservation. Supervised by our gardeners, they will build the Rhododendron Walk, which will link the restored Gate House area with the historic gardens above and recall Samuel Untermyer's nationally significant rhododendron collection (now gone).
- We will expand our gardening team from seven to eight -- doubling the size of the team from where it was just four years ago and greatly increasing its impact.
- We will transform the reclaimed Gate House into a Ruin Garden and plant its earthen floor with an imaginative assortment of shade-loving plants.
- We will plant the rebuilt and expanded Rock Garden and watercourse with a diverse palette of sun-loving plants.
A book about Samuel Untermyer, his world-famous garden, and the current work of the Untermyer Gardens Conservancy will be published by Timber Press and feature photographs by our gardener Jessica Norman.
Untermyer Gardens is one of a few great public gardens in the country that is open free to the public. We receive no revenue from admission fees or membership dues. The vast majority of our funding comes from private donations from friends like you.
This is our only direct appeal of the year. If you have already supported us this year, thank you so much for your help. If you have not, or would like to give us additional support, please consider making a donation before the end of the year. Your support will help this magnificent garden continue to grow!
Stephen F. Byrns
President, Untermyer Gardens Conservancy