Volunteer Spotlight: Amy Villalba

Name: Amy Villalba

Hometown: I grew up in Scarsdale, then Rye, and now I live in Mamaroneck, just about a mile from JHC.

Occupation/volunteer interests: I worked in IT for an international law firm.

Hobbies/Passions: I’d say my most obvious passion is sailing. I must talk about it a lot because everyone asks me about it! I’ve found gardening equally gratifying. The rest of the world drifts away and I focus solely on the garden.

Why do you volunteer for Jay Heritage Center? I’m proud to volunteer at JHC and brag about its beauty to all my friends, many of whom have visited and more I hope will in the future. To have an historic homestead with its rich history regarding the founding of our nation so near is a real treasure. The dedication and passion of everyone I’ve met at JHC is inspiring and happily contagious. From the start I’ve been welcomed and encouraged to share my thoughts and ideas. As a volunteer, I’ve felt engaged, valued and trusted.

What has been your favorite experience at Jay Heritage? I will never forget my first day at Jay Heritage in April of 2021. Looking for an outdoor activity during the pandemic, I considered a community garden plot when a call for garden volunteers at JHC hit my inbox. Confessing my lack of gardening knowledge I was nonetheless welcomed with open arms, enthusiasm, and a Doug Tallamy book! When I carefully pulled out an 18” root (yes, it gets longer at each telling) from the ha-ha wall, I proudly showed Suzanne Clary, who immediately snapped a picture and praised my accomplishment!

What is one thing you think makes Jay Heritage Center special? The people! From the staff to the board members I’ve met and all the volunteers, everyone has been a joy to work with.

Do you have a favorite spot on the Jay property? If I have to choose, then Garden Room 2 is a favorite. I’m drawn to water and find the reflecting pool elegant and tranquil. I’ve seen pictures of the pool before restoration and thus appreciate how much work has already been done by so many. I’m honored to play a role continuing to preserve that.