Franklin D. Roosevelt Hyde Park Foundation’s


Issue 2 : 2022

Message from the Superintendent

2022 has brought many unexpected surprises, new friends, and wonderful projects here at the national parks in Hyde Park. Even though we may not be back to a “normal” operation, I believe each day this year we became more comfortable with what life after a pandemic might look like. I am forever grateful for our employees, volunteers, and partners for jumping in and assisting in welcoming visitors to our parks and helping them explore the grounds and the special history we have here.

Mr. Donald Borquist
Mr. Donald Borquist

We also received a very large surprise this year! In April, I was contacted by the National Park Foundation, which reported that the Home of FDR and the Vanderbilt Mansion had received a very generous bequest of over $400,000.

In digging a little deeper, we discovered that our benefactor was Mr. Donald Borquist, a long-time NPS employee at the parks.

With special support from the FDR Hyde Park Foundation, we could accept this donation and begin immediately to implement it. So far, funds have been used to begin the restoration of the Snuggery in Springwood and the conservation of the portrait of Laura Astor Delano. Other efforts that will benefit from this donation include the conservation of President Roosevelt’s wheelchair, access gates and other features around the estate, and additional supplies and support to the Home Garden. We could not move as swiftly as we did with these projects if not for the Foundation’s support. Thank you!

In looking to 2023, we are excited about many big events that will be taking place. First, 2023 is the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) that Eleanor Roosevelt helped draft with the United Nations. This moment brings a powerful opportunity to explore human rights with our visitors, students, and community. This will also complement a parallel discussion we will be having this year on the Roosevelts and Civil Rights. The NPS recently finalized a Historic Resource Study on the Roosevelts and Civil Rights Leaders, which highlights the important impact that leaders like Walter White, Mary McLeod Bethune, and Pauli Murray had on the shaping of FDR and Eleanor’s thoughts, policies, and actions. This study will also help inform the next exhibit at the Presidential Library, which will open in June 2023, entitled “The Roosevelts, Black America, and Civil Rights.” Programming, publications, exhibits, and online content are all planned for all of these topics this next year.

It takes a great deal of effort to preserve our nation’s treasures. From mowing grass to keeping up with the historic fabric of our buildings. From providing guided tours of the houses to developing new exhibits and content to keep things fresh. Our staff works tirelessly to ensure we keep up with the maintenance needs while providing the public with as much access as possible. We could not do this without partners who champion these efforts and understand the importance of preservation and education. Thank you for being such an important part of what we do here at the parks!

Picture of Amy Bracewell, Park Superintendent

Amy Bracewell

Roosevelt • Vanderbilt • Van Buren National Historic Sites

NARA Announces new Director of the FDR Presidential Library and Museum

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has announced the appointment of William A. Harris as the Director of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum, effective October 23, 2022.

William A. Harris
William A. Harris

Debra Steidel Wall, Acting Archivist of the United States, said of the appointment, “President Roosevelt recognized the National Archives’ vital mission as the nation’s recordkeeper and the Presidential Library’s important role in that critical effort. Bill Harris will strengthen this commitment and ensure the advancement of the Library’s innovative archival, museum, education, and public programs.”  

William began his NARA career in 1996 as an archivist at the George H. W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum. He later served in a senior role within the National Archives’ Office of Presidential Libraries where he was instrumental in the development of the William J. Clinton and George W. Bush Presidential Libraries and Museums. In this role, he also assisted in the transition of the Nixon Presidential Library from a private institution to a NARA-operated library and museum.

Most recently, William has served as Deputy Director of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum. In this role, he has focused on building collaborative relationships with the library’s onsite partner, the National Park Service, and with the Roosevelt Institute. William holds a Master of Arts degree in History and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and History from Auburn University.

Read the full press release here.

Roosevelt Home Garden Report 2022


The Roosevelt Garden was very productive in 2022, with 363 crates of fruits and vegetables donated to Dutchess Outreach Fresh Market. Perennial crops, like strawberries, raspberries, asparagus, and rhubarb, began to produce well last year.

A sturdy trellis for the raspberries was milled and constructed by Dave Hayes, NPS Resource Management Team Leader, from a historic oak that overlooked the vegetable garden for the entirety of Franklin Roosevelt’s life.

Fresh radishes and carrots from the garden
Photo courtesy Elizabeth Walden, National Park Service Guide
Artichokes growing in the garden

A sturdy trellis for the raspberries was milled and constructed by Dave Hayes, NPS Resource Management Team Leader, from a historic oak that overlooked the vegetable garden for the entirety of Franklin Roosevelt’s life.

Photo courtesy Elizabeth Walden, National Park Service Guide
A sturdy trellis for the raspberries
Fresh strawberries from the garden
Half a century ago a small boy took especial delight in climbing an old tree, now unhappily gone, to pick and eat ripe sickle pears. That was about one hundred feet to the west of where I am standing now. And just to the north he used to lie flat between the strawberry rows and eat sun-warmed strawberries--the best in the world.
– Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1939; Address at the Laying of the Cornerstone of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, Hyde Park, NY. 

Gardening in Today’s Climate

Excessive heat and drought posed challenges for plants and people.  Water conserving methods, such as timed soaker hoses, were used to keep crops productive.  Pace and hydration were key to keeping gardeners safe.  Organic methods that take a holistic approach to garden health helped buffer the garden from crop stresses caused by extreme weather.

Following an infestation of onion maggots in young transplants and consulting with Cornell Cooperative Extension, the gardeners applied New York native entomopathic nematodes to all garden areas. These microscopic creatures parasitize the larvae of many soil-born garden pests, and populations are persistent.  NPS horticulturists will stay in touch with Cornell Researchers about this relatively new research application.

A row of fresh opinions growing in the garden
Image of soil-born garden pest larvae

Interpretation through Social Media

This season, the garden got a big boost from NPS Interpretive Ranger Elizabeth Walden.  Elizabeth visited the garden during harvest on Tuesdays, photographing the produce and interviewing staff, volunteers, and visitors.  From these visits, she created fun and educational posts for the park’s Facebook site, expanding public outreach and helping to spread the Roosevelts’ legacy of the importance of equal access to nutritious and locally grown foods. Click here to read  Elizabeth’s final Facebook post of the season.

Facebook post screen shot


Perhaps our closest partnership of all is with the amazing volunteers who help us to plan, plant, maintain, and harvest the garden.  Eleven new and repeating volunteers joined the ranks this year, with a total of 75 volunteers contributing 1,013 hours caring for the vegetable garden and the Rose Garden & Gravesite at the Home of FDR.

Dutchess Outreach
Photo courtesy Jeanne Traugot, Dutchess Outreach
Dutchess County Outreach volunteer showing children how to plant saplings

Other program-expanding partnerships included Nubian Directions, a City of Poughkeepsie Youth Employment Program; and Living Resources, an organization that supports and empowers individuals with disabilities or other life-challenging conditions to live with dignity, independence, and happiness.  Both of these partnerships bring energetic volunteer support to the garden and help the NPS work towards goals of accessibility for the community.  Poughkeepsie Day School and the Culinary Institute of America continued to be great educational partners for shared learning both in the park and on their campuses.

Nubian Directions, a City of Poughkeepsie Youth Employment Program learning about the garden from a volunteer
Volunteers working in the garden

For the second year in a row, NPS horticulture staff partnered with Vassar College Office of Community Engaged Learning (OCEL) in the Vassar OCEL Fellows program. Vassar OCEL identifies, recruits, and pays a stipend to student Fellows who are best matched to the NPS community horticulture program.  Hailey Osika designed an educational kiosk for small space garden exhibit, took a leadership role in garden volunteer support, introduced other Vassar students to the park and its volunteer programs, and became an integral part of the staff with significant contributions to work in all areas.

Hailey Osika
Hailey Osika


This year the horticulture staff launched a successful campaign to increase volunteer participation.  Ten new repeating volunteers were added to the existing ranks, and volunteers logged 920 hours in the garden. While these numbers represent a significant amount of labor for the program, they don’t begin to describe the talent, energy and outreach that volunteers contribute.

Volunteers working in the garden
Photo courtesy Elizabeth Walden, National Park Service Guide
Volunteers working in the garden
Volunteer showing freshly picked produce
Volunteers working in the garden
Photo courtesy Elizabeth Walden, National Park Service Guide

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.

Greenway Conservancy Trail Grants

Hudson River Valley Greenway has awarded a grant for trail education and interpretation in the amount of $10,000.

The Greenway’s support will fund the work of the FDRHPF over 2022 and 2023 to complete a series of educational videos showcasing the opportunities for outdoor recreational use of the trails that traverse the National Park sites in Hyde Park while facilitating the historical interpretation and ecological understanding of the surrounding lands.

The Greenway Conservancy for the Hudson Valley is a public benefit corporation that was established in part to facilitate and support the creation of the Hudson River Valley Greenway Trail System. Twelve miles of trails serve to connect the four prominent historic sites in the Town of Hyde Park: Vanderbilt Mansion, the Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Presidential Library, Eleanor Roosevelt’s Val-Kill, and Top Cottage. These twelve miles of trails are part of the Hyde Park Trail system and are designated Greenway Trails. We are so thankful for their support of this project.

Interpretive Trail Sign
Courtesy Gerald Berliner
Person walking along one of the trails in the Fall

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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.