Volume 18| Issue #1

May 2023

Spring/Summer 2023

Dear Friends,

Sunny days are here at last! There is a skip in my step now that the birds are back (not to mention the ticks - ugh!) and the spring yo-yo temperatures have propelled an explosion of blooms that will welcome our 163rd Commencement ceremony at Bard. Congratulations, seniors! 

Our College Arboretum is charged with creating a campus that welcomes visitors and creates an environment that is enriching to educators, artists, writers, musicians, and scientists, hence we are proud to be partnering with Nelson, Byrd, Woltz, a leading, visionary landscape architecture firm to guide us through a comprehensive planning process to weave the campus architecture and landscape together and to identify potential outdoor spaces that could serve as new gathering and learning hubs. This exciting opportunity will also help us focus on the future of Montgomery Place campus, among many other areas. 

The Friends of Blithewood were pleased and honored once again to co-host a spectacular event, Vision and View, this spring with our partners at The Garden Conservancy. We gathered a sold-out crowd at Blithewood for an in-depth overview of classical gardens in the Hudson Valley. Residents of this area are extremely fortunate to live among so many fine examples of landscape architecture. 

Over the summer we hope you will join us for one of our themed educational programs that is part of our series called "Women, Writing, and Place." While the individual campus plants and gardens showcase trees and plants from all over the world, it is our overall landscape that serves to inspire and teach us in so many different ways. We are excited to welcome several female authors to our Montgomery Place campus to share their writings with children and adults. 

Amy Parrella ‘99 
Arboretum Director

Arboretum in the News
🌿 Bard College Selects Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects
To Lead Its Campus Landscape Planning Process
Bard College is pleased to announce the selection of Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects (NBW) to lead a comprehensive planning process for its 930-acre campus.

The Bard College campus holds a vast collection of cultural landscapes and architecture spanning more than two centuries. NBW, a research-based design firm, will develop the College’s first comprehensive campus landscape plan since 1988 to bring harmony among its many cultural landscapes and ecological assets and develop the tools needed to make sensitive and thoughtful planning decisions. The plan will engage the Bard community to develop a long-term vision for the campus and provide concrete steps on how to achieve that vision. Increasing the level and quality of the physical and aesthetic connections between old, new, and future facilities will be a key goal, while recalibrating the relationship between humans and their environment, to reflect a campus that is inclusive, adaptive, educational, and connected.

About Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects:

Nelson Byrd Woltz (NBW) is an internationally recognized landscape architecture firm with studios in New York City, Charlottesville VA, and Houston, TX. The firm has been instrumental in steering landscape architecture towards integrated, ecologically performative design, relying on science-based methodology and collaboration with a wide range of systems experts.
🌿 Bard College Landscape and Arboretum Program Renews Accreditation from ArbNet 
The Landscape and Arboretum Program at Bard College has renewed its Level II accreditation with ArbNet, an interactive, collaborative, international community of arboreta and tree-focused professionals. ArbNet facilitates the sharing of knowledge, experience, and other resources to help tree-based botanical gardens meet their institutional goals and works to help elevate practices through the ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program, the only global initiative to officially recognize arboreta based on a set of professional standards. Bard College is also being recognized as an accredited arboretum in the Morton Register of Arboreta, a database of the world’s arboreta and gardens dedicated to woody plants. 

Read more here
🌿 Bard College Receives $93,000 from the Garden Conservancy for Blithewood Garden Rehabilitation
Bard College has been gifted $93,000 from the Garden Conservancy to go towards construction drawings that will aid the rehabilitation of Blithewood Garden. The construction documents, which will be created by award-winning preservation architecture firms Jan Hird Pokorny Associates (JHPA) and Integrated Conservation Resources, Inc. (ICR), will be used as blueprints for the restoration of Blithewood’s landscape. Blithewood Garden is considered a nationally significant Beaux Arts, Italianate garden with significant connections to the evolution of American landscape design and is one of the few intact Hudson River estate gardens that remain from the Gilded Age. Situated on a steeply sloping bluff approximately 130 feet above the Hudson River, Blithewood is a 45-acre section of Bard’s campus that was once part of a historic estate comprising a manor house, outbuildings, drives, gardens, lawns, and meadows. Bard College has partnered with the Garden Conservancy, a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to preserve and share America’s gardens, on the restoration of Blithewood Garden. 

Blithewood Garden is open to the public from sunrise to sunset every day. For more information, click here 

Read more about the Garden Conservancy here
🌿 Happy 120th Anniversary, Blithewood Garden. Now Let’s Get You Fixed Up
Read more here

Education at the Arboretum
🌿 Learning Landscape at Bard with Upcoming Fall Undergraduate Classes
As the Arboretum is working on establishing its own education program, we are happy to promote this curated list of outdoor and ecology-related classes being offered during the Fall 2023 semester, that advocate for hands-on learning in our living campus classroom. 

HUM 234: Landscape Studies: The Hudson River Valley 
ES/EUS 100: Introduction to Environmental Studies
ES/EUS 221: Water Quality Research
CC 114: Rooted and Mobile: The World of Natural Dyes
CC 117 A: Rethinking Place: Art/Science Collaboration
CC 117 B: Race and Place: African American-Indigenous Studies Approaches
ARCH 214: Post-Eden: Conflicts, Coloniality, and Plants
PHOT 114: Photosensitivity: Practicing Mindful Photography
ARTH 225: Art and Environment: Perspectives on Land, Landscape, and Ecology
ANTH 211: Ancient Indigenous Peoples before the Bard Lands: Archaeology, Methods, and Theory
🌿 Inaugural Arboretum Outreach Intern: Alyssa Valachovic ‘24
Congratulations to Alyssa Valachovic ‘24, the Arboretum’s first outreach intern student! Ms. Valachovic, a graduate student with Bard’s Master of Environmental Education program and a Master’s in Teaching in mathematics, successfully completed this academic year participating in a unique Arboretum internship with the Abigail Lundquist Nursery School and the Red Hook Mill Road Primary School garden program, where she worked with children ages 4-11 years, in both a private and public school setting.

Alyssa comments about her experience:

“I have witnessed the benefits that non-traditional ways of teaching have on young children. They have taught children that classrooms can be and are in outside spaces. The nursery school emphasized that outdoor play is an extension of learning. At Mill Road, the garden allows students to have hands-on experience with the environment around them. Outdoor learning has a surprising amount of benefits and I hope that schools all over the country can see the value in and implement their own versions of it.”

Thank you, Alyssa, for all your good work!
The Bard M.Ed. in Environmental Education program prepares educators to create an informed and engaged citizenry supporting progress toward a just, prosperous, and sustainable future. Through intensive academic training, real-world professional experience, and career development opportunities, this environmental education graduate program enables graduates to pursue successful, high-impact careers in private schools, NGOs, government land management agencies, private land conservation organizations, museums, environmental education centers, and consulting firms.
Upcoming Events
🌿 Women, Writing, and Place Summer Series
Bard Arboretum is pleased to announce a collaboration with Montgomery Place historic site this summer to offer educational program series around Women, Writing, and Place. We are fortunate to have many talented, local women authors who are sharing their writings with the public. Please join us this summer to learn stories about ‘place’ from a woman’s viewpoint.
🌿 Meet the Author Event Talk, Book-Signing & House Tours
Jane Delury's latest novel, Hedge, takes place at modern-day Montgomery Place. Join Jane Delury and Amy Parrella '99, Bard's Director of Horticulture & Arboretum, on Saturday, June 10 at 2 pm, at the Bard's Montgomery Place Visitor Center, for a conversation about the process of making the book and visit the mansion and grounds in the book.

2:00 PM Slide Show & Conversation
3:00 PM Book Sales, Book Signing & Refreshments
3:15 - 5:00 PM Mansion Walk-Throughs with Docents 

Register here
🌿 Now Open Through the Summer: Children’s and Adult Story Strolls at Montgomery Place 
True or false: There is only one bird that can fly backward. Learn the answer by reading *Book of Flight: 10 Record-Breaking Animals with Wings* by Gabrielle Balkan on Montgomery Place’s inaugural Story Stroll! In this introduction to flying anatomy, readers are introduced to 10 record-breaking animals with wings through a guessing game with clues. Examine the animal’s blueprint and read a series of boastful hints to guess the mystery flier. 

Montgomery Place’s Story Stroll is an outdoor reading experience that consists of a page-by-page look at a unique children's book. It combines literacy, exercise, nature, and family time. We hope you enjoy reading the posted pages as you stroll along the South Woods Trail. We’d love to hear your nominations for animal record-breakers and books to include in our next Story Strolls. The Story Stroll is open from sunrise to sunset at the South Woods Trail at Montgomery Place, April through October.

🌿 Montgomery Place Grounds Adult Story Stroll opens June 10th with Meet the Author Event
Navigate your way through story excerpts and the Montgomery Place gardens and grounds to learn more about…

Hedge by Jane Delury, winner of the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters for her first novel, The Balcony

About the Book:

One troubled marriage. Two daughters. A summer away. And the love interest that threatens to ruin it all. On sale starting June 6, Maud is a talented garden historian and devoted mother to daughters Ella and Louise. Motivated to reinvigorate her career and escape her troubled marriage, she accepts a summer job restoring the garden of a lush, nineteenth-century Hudson Valley estate. While waiting for her daughters to join her at the end of their school year, Maud meets a coworker, archeologist Gabriel Crews, whose passion for landscape history matches her own. When their immediate and intense friendship ignites, it sets in motion a seismic shock that will profoundly change Maud's life, as well as the lives of everyone she cares about. Hedge is a deeply moving portrait of a woman’s longing to be a good mother while still answering the call of her soul and mind.

Follow Jane on Instagram @jane.delury and at www.janedelury.com.
🌿 Bard hosts first 5k Community Race in November
This year, the Bard Athletics Department and Bard Arboretum will host their very first Community 5k race. Save the date: Saturday, November 4th

More information and registration coming soon!
Past Events
🌿 Vision & View: Creating a Classical Landscape on the Hudson 
The Friends of Blithewood Garden were pleased to offer a unique program to help celebrate and support Bard’s beautiful cultivated space called Blithewood Garden on April 23. Guests were invited to take a step back in time with us for an afternoon at Blithewood’s historic mansion and garden. They were the first to see the public debut of the documentary film about the garden’s rich preservation story, featuring Bard alumna and actress Blythe Danner ‘65. They also explored the grounds with light refreshments, accompanied by live piano music inspired by Blithewood’s landscape, compliments of Sophia Cornicello ‘27, Bard undergraduate student. 

A panel discussion looked at the history of Blithewood Garden, the Vanderbilt mansion and gardens, and other Gilded Age estates in the Hudson River Valley and their significance in the context of local and national history, including the challenges of preserving these spaces.  Speakers included historic preservation expert Kurt Hirschberg, Associate Partner of Jan Hird Pokorny Associates, Harvey Flad, Professor Emeritus of Vassar College, Dimitri Stratis of the National Park Service for the Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site, and Amy Parrella ‘99, Director of Horticulture & Arboretum at Bard College and Horatio Joyce, Director of Public Programs and Education with The Garden Conservancy, and Pamela Governale, Director of Preservation with The Garden Conservancy, moderated the discussion.
🌿 Arboretum Celebrates its 16th Anniversary 
Friday, April 28th marked the 151st anniversary of Arbor Day, a day that reflects the appreciation of all trees, founded by J. Sterling Morton in Nebraska in 1872, and the 16th anniversary of the founding of Bard’s campus-wide arboretum. One of the main goals of the annual tree planting holiday is to educate the public about the benefits of trees, from the shade and cooler air temperatures to improved air quality, noise moderation, filtration of run-off into streams and rivers, reduction of energy consumption, and the creation of habitats and food for wildlife. Bard celebrated Arbor Day with the children and teachers from the Bard Nursery School by planting a Dutch elm disease-tolerant American elm tree (Ulmus americana ‘New Harmony’) at Kline Commons, along the historic elm allee road that connects Stone Row to the Chapel.
🌿 Bird Walks at Montgomery Place in April 
In April, Susan Rogers led guided bird walks at Montgomery Place for Bard students, staff, and faculty. The dates were scheduled so that participants could attend during their lunch break. All three walks were well attended, with an average of over 30 people. We hope to continue them in the future. These walks, the Monday Meditation Walks, and the upcoming Landscape Walks are part of the college’s efforts to familiarize Bardians with the Montgomery Place grounds, a beautiful resource on campus.

Photo: Kathy McManus
🌿 Hudson Valley Gives Day - Give Where You Live
GO GREEN by GIVING GREEN this May! Please consider giving locally to these member-supported programs. 

Donate here to the Bard Arboretum and Blithewood Garden Rehabilitation Project.

Hudson Valley Gives was created by the Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan (CFOS) to provide nonprofit organizations in Orange, Sullivan, Ulster, Putnam, Dutchess, Rockland, and Westchester Counties with a valuable opportunity to raise awareness of their unique missions and causes.
🌿 Remember Loved Ones On Memorial Day with A Gift To The Arboretum
Give a gift that grows! Your donation to the Bard Arboretum in memory or in honor of someone you love, a veteran, or a friend is a unique way to treasure their place in your heart.

To give a gift, visit our website here

Thank you for your interest and for your continued
support for the Bard Arboretum and its beautiful gardens.

Have a wonderful beginning to the summer!