JHC Volunteers Spotlight – Jennie and Charlie Yang

Charlie Yang and Lucia Maestro training volunteers from Touro Medical College earlier this month

Volunteers are the life source of the Jay Estate Gardens. Caroline Wallach recently spoke to Jennie and Charlie Yang to learn more about their connection with our park and the reasons behind their dedication.

Names: Jennie and Charlie Yang

Hometown: Mamaroneck, NY

Occupation/volunteer interests: Jennie is a retired librarian and Charlie is an active computer engineer. Both of us enjoy helping with gardening and assisting with big events.

Hobbies/Passions: We enjoy kayaking, gardening, cooking, reading, walking, hiking and birding.

Why do you volunteer for Jay Heritage Center?

We love that the Jay Estate is a center for people to learn about history, culture, and horticulture. We enjoy the lectures, arts exhibitions, music, historic stories, and the park-like environment along with the mansion, carriage house, and beautiful meadow. The Jay Garden is a lovely historic garden – and it is only five blocks away from our home! When we visited initially, we met Suzanne and a lot of volunteers. We were so impressed with Suzanne’s knowledge of history and horticulture, and Lucia’s knowledge of plants and environment. They all worked together to keep the garden stunningly well.

Jennie started volunteering first at the garden, then she asked Charlie to join her. That was three years ago. Now we have become a seasoned (accidental!) volunteer team in the garden. For us the main attraction is still the garden and education. We really enjoy working with Lucia, Suzanne, and the other volunteers. We all learn and share so much among us. Together we have a spirit of volunteerism, and we work together to care for the Jay Garden as if it is our own.

What has been your favorite experience at Jay Heritage? 

Making friends who believe in natural planting and organic gardening, and who are passionate about contributing their time and effort to the community.

What is one thing you think makes Jay Heritage Center special? 

One thing that makes Jay Heritage Center special to us is that it provides high quality, hands-on educational programs to preserve history and the natural environment, which appeal to all ages. Our two daughters from Rye Neck have also enjoyed the programs, including musical performances, literature readings, and art exhibitions.

Do you have a favorite spot on the Jay property? 

Both of us have many favorite spots on the Jay Estate. Jennie especially enjoys sitting on the veranda viewing the spectacular meadow. Charlie likes the bench under Japanese Cherry tree. Sitting there you enjoy the reflection pool, plants, and flowers, and you feel peaceful.