$50,000 Gift from Marge Sullivan Fund Seeds Horticultural Study Center at JHC

Marge Sullivan on a garden tour with Betsy Barlow Rogers and the Foundation for Landscape Studies 2007 (Photo by Jay Cantor)

It is a privilege to formally announce our most recent gift of $50,000 from the Marge Sullivan Fund especially in a month dedicated to preservation.  This donation has already proven a catalyst for matching donations of another $50,000 all of which will be put towards a future Horticultural Study Center at the Jay Heritage Center.

Port Chester Youth group learns about invasive spotted lanternfly from NY State parks partners at the Jay Estate

JHC is enormously grateful for this leadership gift and thrilled at the prospect of launching a four-season space where garden volunteers, educators and students can study native species, botany, landscape design and much more. This resulting venue will be ideal for gathering and training the land stewards, garden historians, naturalists and thought leaders of the future from throughout New York State. A robust curriculum will be centered on biodiversity and sustainability.

Rev. Jean Paul Marshall from Christ’s Church shows students from the Blue Skies group how to harvest salad greens

The late Margaret “Marge” D. Sullivan was no stranger to the fields of garden restoration and preservation. Marge had a profound understanding of the challenges for public gardening and shared her advice with JHC board members on several occasions. She was a firm believer that horticulture should be accessible to everyone. In New York City, Marge often brought people from varied backgrounds together to help on projects ranging from the creation of a green roof at a Common Ground Residence for the homeless, to the garden in Riverside Park, to the volunteer program of the Carl Schurz Park Conservancy. She mentored countless trustees, gardeners and volunteers over decades of serious dedication to community service. She served as chair of the New York Committee of the Garden Club of America and was a past president of the Southampton Garden Club. She was a trustee of the Bowne House Historical Society and the Foundation for Landscape Studies. Additional affiliations included the Women’s Committee of the Central Park Conservancy, the Horticultural Society of New York, the New York Botanical Garden, the New York Unit of the Herb Society of America, and the Horticultural Alliance of the Hamptons.

JHC’s future Horticultural Study Center will be a true testament to the passion and dedication to gardening, preservation and community service that Marge embodied.  It will overlook the viewshed of Long Island Sound and a native meadow designed by Larry Weaner Landscape Associates and will be strolling distance from the newly rehabilitated Jay Estate Gardens reimagined by Nelson Byrd Woltz. Additional funds are being sought to complete this major capital initiative. For more information about how to give, contact Suzanne Clary at jayheritagecenter@gmail.com

Photo by JHC Advisory Board Member Jay Cantor