Roosevelt Family Home Garden Report 2021

After a year of limited and mainly remote public outreach, the Landscape and Garden Division of the Roosevelt Vanderbilt NHS was delighted to welcome visitors and groups to the park for in-person tours and activities. Students in the Farm to Table Concentration and the Sustainable Food Systems class from the Culinary Institute of America, members of the Poughkeepsie Public Library book club reading Doug Tallamy’s Nature’s Best Hope, and the staff from Wethersfield Gardens in Amenia, NY were among the groups touring the garden. High school students participating in the City of Poughkeepsie’s Nubian Directions Summer Youth Employment program capped off their season with a visit to the garden for education and career exploration.

Vassar College Community Engaged Learning Fellow, Meg Ritzau, developed an audio tour for the vegetable garden, which has allowed visitors to learn about the garden even when staff is not present. Meg also assembled photos and a script for a new wayside for the garden and updated information for the NPS’s website.

Garden Tour
BLT Lunch

For the past three years, the garden program has participated in meetings of the Hudson Valley Food System Coalition, which focuses on food equity, community health, and sustainability. This participation has enhanced the awareness of food and its availability to those in the Hudson Valley and to all associated with managing the garden.

With a return to on-site programming this year, the first park-wide Roosevelt Home Garden BLT Lunch was hosted! A variety of heirloom tomatoes, lettuce, and a perfectly ripe Tom Watson watermelon were on the menu.

Volunteers

Volunteers play many important roles in the Home Garden. In 2021, 647 volunteer hours were contributed in the gardens at the Home of FDR. As an integral part of the workforce engaged in planting, maintaining, and harvesting, they connect the garden with the community at large in significant and meaningful ways. We look forward to expanding our volunteer corps in 2022.

Garden Volunteers
Garden volunteers working in the garden

Perennial Crops

When the garden was re-established in 2016, park staff recognized that improvements to the soil (reducing compaction and improving soil quality and drainage) were needed prior to the introduction of perennial crops. With the 5-year goal met in this regard, perennial crops were introduced to the garden this year. In spring 2021, asparagus, raspberries, strawberries, and rhubarb were planted. Grapes and currants will be added in 2022.

Perennial crops
Fresh aspberries growing in the garden

Climate, the Environment, and our Garden Strategies

The Landscape and Garden teams are committed to organic practices to fertilize and control pests in the garden. Only pest control products that protect the crops while minimizing human health and environmental risks are used. Choice products and timely applications reduce impacts to beneficial insects, including pollinators. In addition to the weekly organic spray program, a biodegradable film mulch (to control weeds and reduce insect pest populations), kaolin clay (a white, chalky material applied to foliage to reduce heat stress and deter insects), and a fine mesh netting to exclude insect pests, have been integrated into the grading practices. Also, staff and volunteers are trained to recognize plant pests and beneficial insects. This year a large population of helpful blue scolid wasps were found in the garden; these feed on and help to control grubs of Japanese Beetles and June Beetles.

Fine mesh insect netting
Scolid Wasps

The Landscape and Garden Division of the Roosevelt Vanderbilt NHS thanks the Franklin D. Roosevelt Hyde Park Foundation for their continued support of the Home Garden Restoration. Their support ensures the interpretation of an important legacy of the Roosevelt family in Hyde Park and allows us to connect our community and visitors to their stories.

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CAITLYN GERMINARO is a Human Services professional whose passion is supporting and advocating for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Caitlyn is currently a Training Specialist for a non-profit organization serving people with disabilities and partnering with communities across 38 counties in New York State. In 2022, Caitlyn received a CP State Annual Conference Staff Recognition Award. She also received the 2023 Leadership Dutchess Community Advocate Award and graduated from the Leadership Dutchess program. Caitlyn holds a BS from The College of Saint Rose and an MS from Walden University. A golfer, gardener, and sunset enthusiast, she lives in Red Hook, NY, with her husband and their two dogs.

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DAVID SCHWARTZ Born in 1951, David grew up in New York City. In 1972, he received his B.S. in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Finance. Following graduation, David began his career with Mikasa, a leader in the Tableware and Housewares industry – first in sales, then in management and as a company principal. Following the company’s initial public offering on the NYSE, David retired from the firm in 1996 and has since made his livelihood as a private investor. Recently, he’s become an active member of the Hudson Valley Start-up Fund, an Investment group that seeks to enable a stronger business ecosystem for entrepreneurs in the Hudson Valley region.

RUDOLPH S. RAUCH is a retired journalist and magazine editor. After graduating with a degree in English from Princeton University in 1965, he worked for two years at Radio Free Europe in Munich, Germany, and attended the Annenberg School of Communications at the University of Pennsylvania. In 1969, he joined TIME Magazine, where he covered Wall Street; served as European Economic Correspondent, based in Bonn, Germany; was a correspondent in the magazine’s Saigon Bureau for fourteen months; and then spent three years covering South America for TIME, based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and Buenos Aires, Argentina. Rauch returned to New York as Deputy Chief of Correspondents after a two-year stint as TIME’s Atlanta Bureau Chief. In 1980, he was named the Edward R. Murrow Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and later was Assistant to the Chairman of Time, Inc. Rauch has also served as editor of the quarterly magazine CONSTITUTION, and from 1998 until 2003 was Editor of OPERA NEWS. A long-time director of Scenic Hudson, Inc., Rauch is currently on the board of the Scenic Hudson Land Trust, the Hudson Highlands Land Trust, and the non-profit weekly newspaper, THE HIGHLANDS CURRENT. Rauch is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and lives in Cold Spring, NY.

Evan Jenkins is an architect based in Los Angeles. He serves as Director for Architecture and Development at Atlas Capital Group, a 100-person real estate investment, development, and management firm, with 65 projects between New York and California totaling 14 million square feet and $7 billion in value. Evan holds master’s degrees in architecture from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design and real estate development from the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University, where he was Glascock and van Beuren Fellow at the Center for Urban Real Estate. A native New Yorker, Evan is a member of the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards, the American Institute of Architects, and the Urban Land Institute. He is Treasurer for the Harvard Heights Neighborhood Association and an advocate for historic preservation at Hyde Park and beyond.

ERIN HOAGLAND serves as the Director of Conservation for the Dutchess Land Conservancy. She is a lifelong resident of the Hudson Valley with an affinity for the natural world. After graduating from Marist College with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and Policy, she started a career in land conservation. Erin has been able to apply her passions by working to implement and manage conservation projects on both natural lands and working farmland that protect Dutchess County’s invaluable scenic resources. Erin joined the FDR Hyde Park Foundation Board in 2017.

CANNON CARR is Chief Investment Officer for CornerCap Investment Counsel. Prior to joining CornerCap, Cannon was a senior equity analyst at CIBC World Markets (1998-2007), covering IT business services, wireless services, and emerging telecom. Cannon has provided commentary on CNBC, CNN, Lou Dobbs MoneyLine, and Bloomberg News. He has also been quoted in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, and Fortune, among other publications. Cannon has an MBA from Columbia Business School and a BA from Princeton University in Political Economy.

CHARLES BUICE serves as President of Tiger Foundation in New York City. The foundation works to help break the cycle of poverty for New York City families by investing in nonprofit human service organizations in the education, employment, youth and families, and criminal justice fields. Previously, Charles worked in the magazine publishing business in San Francisco and New York City. Charles also serves as a Trustee of The Steele-Reese Foundation and is on the board of A Public Space, a nonprofit publishing enterprise, and of Philanthropy New York, a member organization serving the foundation community in and around New York City. Charles has a B.A. from Yale University and an M.B.A. from the Stern School of Business at New York University.

EILEEN COSGRIFF is a Program Manager for Santander Bank in Boston, MA. She leads the US Project Management Office’s business analysis and UAT practices. Prior to Santander, Eileen worked at Deloitte & Touche LLP and Fidelity’s National Financial Services. In addition to work in financial services, Eileen has field experience in architectural history studying Thomas Jefferson’s designs and building methods at Poplar Forest, VA as well as rebuilding homes in New Orleans, LA under the sponsorship of World Monuments Fund. Eileen has a master’s in History of Art and Architecture from Harvard University and a BS in Finance from Providence College. She also volunteers with local community redevelopment organizations, as well the Old North Church, Boston, MA where she and her co-gardeners received the Good Neighbor award in July 2017 for tending to the 18th-century reproduction garden.

G. DAVID PHELPS HAMAR is a Managing Director & Head of Wealth Advisory Services at Chilton Trust. Mr. Hamar advises individuals, trusts, and foundations on a wide variety of financial matters, including portfolio construction, philanthropic advisory, and tax and financial planning. Mr. Hamar is the Founder and Chairman of the Brantingham Preservation Group in the western Adirondack Park, is a Director and Treasurer Emeritus of Virginia Polo at the University of Virginia, and served on the Steering Committee for the formation of the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership at the University of Virginia. Mr. Hamar is a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law (1990) and Old Dominion University (1983). Mr. Hamar is admitted to the Virginia State Bar and is a CPA. He resides in Manhattan, Onteora Park, and Brantingham, New York.

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John Winthrop (Wint) Aldrich retired from a career in N.Y. State government and continues his life-long activism in land conservation and historic preservation, especially in the Hudson River Valley. A graduate of Harvard College who served as an Army officer in Vietnam, from 1974 until 2010 Wint held posts on the executive staffs of the Department of Environmental Conservation and the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation – in the latter agency as the State’s Deputy Commissioner for Historic Preservation. Also, Wint has served as a consultant to the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area, a unit of the National Park Service.

KEVIN BURKE is a historian, journalist, and documentary film producer. In addition to serving as the director of research at the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research at Harvard University, he is the founder and CEO of Kevin Burke Productions, Inc., a New York–based company, through which he has hosted and produced the award-winning podcast series Your Hometown. Burke’s film credits include working as a producer on the popular PBS series Finding Your RootsMaking Black America: Through the Grapevine (PBS, 2022); the Emmy-nominated series The Black Church: This Is Our Story, This is Our Song (PBS, 2021); and Reconstruction: America after the Civil War (PBS, 2019), winner of the Alfred I. duPont–Columbia University Award. With Henry Louis Gates Jr., Burke is the coauthor of And Still I Rise: Black America since MLK (Ecco/HarperCollins, 2015) and co-editor of the Norton Critical Edition of Solomon Northup’s 1853 memoir, Twelve Years a Slave (W. W. Norton & Co., 2016). Burke graduated from Harvard College in 1998 and from Harvard Law School in 2003. He received his master’s degree in History and Ph.D. in the History of American Civilization from Harvard in 2004 and 2006, respectively. A member of the New York State Bar, Burke serves on several boards, including as chair of the Hudson River Valley Greenway Conservancy. He and his wife, Anna Barranca-Burke, live with their two children in New York City.