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Ending the year with gratitude

As we transition into winter and the holidays, I would like to take this moment to say thank you for supporting us as we continue our work caring for the beautiful lands and gardens of the Preserve. Every year, the stories that many of you offer, be it your visits to Asticou, Thuya, or the Abby, the memories of skating on or swimming in Little Long Pond, to the countless hikes you and your family have taken on our trails, reinforce just how special the Preserve is to you.

As you probably know, the Preserve now includes over 1,400 acres, specifically, Asticou Azalea Garden, Thuya Garden and Lodge, Little Long Pond lands, the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Garden, our plant production facility at McAlpin Farm, and the rugged lands that descend from the Day Mountain carriage road to Hunters Cliffs.

I mentioned in the last newsletter how fortunate we are that the catalysts for the creation of these areas, Charles K. Savage, Joseph Curtis, Beatrix Farrand, and Abby and John D. Rockefeller Jr., all stuck to their vision to build these gardens and conserve these natural areas. To my knowledge, none of these individuals envisioned what the Preserve has become but it is our duty as stewards of these places to care, protect, and share so that current and future visitors can enjoy their respective visions. Thankfully, we have an amazing team of people working at the Preserve who, day in and day out, even during a pandemic, passionately care for these landscapes.

In the spirit of gratitude and stewardship, I want to express our deepest thanks to the Curtis and Patricia Blake Foundation. This summer the Foundation made a generous gift to the Preserve in memory of the Blakes, who were long time supporters of the Preserve. Their gift will be directed to projects at the Asticou Azalea Garden and Little Long Pond, helping to care for and share these magnificent landscapes.

During this holiday season, I want to convey my gratitude for the amazing Preserve team, these majestic lands and gardens that we have the privilege of tending, and of course, for your support that enables us to continue this important work, especially during this time when we crave the connection to nature. On behalf of the entire Preserve team, we wish for you a warm holiday season and a healthy New Year!

Rodney Eason, CEO

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