This year began on an upbeat note. We had begun building Phase One of the Upper Garden the previous fall, and each week’s construction meeting renewed the excitement. Our new “Back 5 Acres” restoration program on our upstream acreage added to the sense that we had entered a new phase in the Garden’s evolution. We were looking forward to the June American Public Gardens Association conference here in Portland, where new developments at Leach Garden would be showcased.
Of course, all of this changed in mid-March with COVID19. Despite all the associated restrictions, construction continued, but life was definitely not business as usual. Throughout, Leach Garden staff and volunteers have been creative and resilient, adapting programs as possible and keeping the Garden open as a place of respite for the community. We are grateful to everyone who stepped forward to help us weather the storm.
Notwithstanding this very unusual year, I am excited about the great things we accomplished. Our Back 5 Acres Community Habitat Enhancement Project is thriving. I have seen our construction go from ‘seed to blossom’. The Aerial Tree Walk is no longer just an idea. The pollinator and habitat garden is an expansive planting on the landscape. This spring, we will open the new gates and welcome thousands of visitors to Leach Garden.
Back 5 Acres student catches a bee in a pollinator workshop.
You are probably aware that I am retiring just after the first of the year. A new director will lead the organization into this transformed existence. I hope the path to Phase Two of the Garden’s transformation will be as fulfilling and exciting for them as the past ten years have been for me.
Your support continues to be critical to the well-being of this special place.
Your gift supports increasing the capacity and role of the Garden as a significant public resource while also helping us meet some specific shorter-term goals for the new year:
• acquisition and propagation of thousands of new plants for the Back 5 Acres and areas in the historic garden impacted by construction;
• completing engineering work to permanently elevate the pedestrian bridge out of the winter floodway;
• providing additional internships focused on the new pollinator garden; and
• purchasing furnishings for the Fireside Terrace.
We feel so fortunate to have you with us on this journey. I know that this has been a difficult year for everyone and there is a lot of competition for your attention. We are grateful for your support of Leach Botanical Garden as we face the uncertainty of the months ahead. Your gift can be sent by mail or by clicking the Donation button below. We all deeply hope that a vaccine is on the horizon. Regardless, the committed staff and volunteers at Leach Garden will continue to make this a welcoming and safe place for all.
Our very best to you,
A whole new
Watch for details.