Members of Friends of Laurelwood Arboretum (FOLA) elected four new members to the Board of Directors, each for a two-year term. Joining the board are Regina Imperator, Linda Ransom, Mary Jo Sichak, and Diane Bromberg Stern. Also elected at the meeting was William Lauber, CPA, who had been appointed treasurer earlier in the year. Reelected for a two-year term were Alice Moskowitz, President; Jim McHugh, First Vice President; David Kooistra, Second Vice President; Ruth Hayden, Recording Secretary; and board members Dawn Healey, Margaret Kerstner, Bill Mains, Sara McHugh, and Rick Wild.
Moskowitz opened the meeting with a PowerPoint presentation that highlighted the year’s events and volunteer activities. In her president’s report, she said, “This was the first full year in which we are able to plan programs and activities for this wonderful Knippenberg Center for Education, the adjoining Educational Greenhouse, and the Native Plant Demonstration Garden. And we took full advantage of that.”
In 2016, FOLA hosted 11 Educational Programs for adults that drew a total of 700 people, 14 children’s educational programs attended by a total of 300 parents and children, and 5 children’s story hours in which books were followed by hands-on science projects in the greenhouse. In addition, the group sponsored five community events—an Earth Day celebration, the annual Plant Sale, a special Pines Lake Day event, an Alice In Laurelwood Tea Party fundraiser, and Art at the Arboretum, a very successful major fundraiser. FOLA’s volunteer tour guides led a total of 325 visitors through Laurelwood on 5 public tour days.
“No review of the year would be complete without a special shout-out to our volunteers, who worked in the gardens, helped maintain our roads and equipment, and served on the board of directors and the many committees that planned and executed our programs and activities,” Moskowitz said. FOLA volunteers donated a total of more than 10,000 hours of their time in 2016. This represents a donation of more than $250,000 based on the nationally accepted volunteer hourly rate.
The organization is also proud of its growth in membership, which reached a new high of 395 in 2016. “Friends are the mainstay of our organization,” Moskowitz said. “We depend on membership support to maintain and enhance Laurelwood Arboretum and create programs to engage visitors of all ages.”