Message from President Betty Goldstein

Dear Friends,

This morning as I clipped off the spent flowers from my perennials, I thought about the year that is about to close. It has been a most interesting year. I started my term in the midst of a pandemic. If you have read my previous messages, you know that I am a proponent of the saying, “When one door closes, another door opens.” I so truly believe that.

We have found creative ways to continue with our programing. Our members have put in a tremendous amount of volunteer hours adjusting to our new situation, and I am so proud of them. One of our greatest accomplishments is adding a virtual component to our Children’s Science Program. As you may know, we have been unable to have the children come (normally about 2000 children a year) to the Gardens for our Children’s Science Tours and for our yearly Science Fair. So we are taking the program to them through a Virtual Science Tour Program.

Phase one of our science program is a Children’s Science Program pilot. Under the leadership of Leslie Kavanaugh, Kerstin Royce, Patti Reinstein and me as a helper, we now have the pilot program ready to be sent out to 100 children and their teachers. This pilot program is the tool that we are using to evaluate and revise the program as needed. This first educational unit is about Nutrition and Healthy Eating. After phase one has been perfected, we will develop two more units, one on Plants, and the other based on our Children’s Wildlife Pond, which is a Certified Wildlife Habitat Site. The Nutrition and Healthy Eating unit will have a short video to introduce the subject, a box for each child filled with school supplies, a notebook with information on the topic and fun games associated with it, a puzzle, our book Sammy’s Super Salad, and some healthy recipes the children can make at home. Once the children are able to return to the Gardens, we will still have these programs to share with those children who cannot come to experience the gardens in person. All of this was done with the dedication of volunteers who have put in hours of time to continue our most important work.

Our Education lectures have now become mostly virtual experiences. In November, we had a virtual ikebana demonstration (and a socially distanced presentation at the Gardens) by Katie Marsano, an accomplished ikebana student of the Sogetsu School of Ikebana. This month, we will have a virtual gingerbread house demonstration by renowned pastry chef Della Gossett and a a wreath making class led by one of our past Garden Tour participants Ines Garstecki from Flowermaid. We are grateful to all who have given of their time and expertise.

Yes, we have wonderful volunteers who work many hours, but the estate and Gardens cannot run on volunteer hours alone. The reality is that our fundraising has stopped; our renowned Garden Tour was not held.

We need your help; please consider us as part of your end of the year giving. You may donate through our website or by check. We have managed this year with toughness, resolve, and resilience. It is with great hope and the strong support of our Friends that we enter into the New Year.

Let us end this year in a joyful manner.

Happiness and health to you and yours in the year ahead,

Betty Goldstein
President of the Friends of Robinson Gardens

2 Responses

  1. Kerstin Royce
    | Reply

    Dear Betty,
    Thank you for “ keeping the door open” for us. Your enthusiasm and optimism is inspires.

  2. Elaine Doran
    | Reply

    Oh Betty, so wonderful to see you at the helm. I would like to arrange a time to talk about El Nido Family Center’s relationship with RG.

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