Franklin D. Roosevelt Hyde Park Foundation’s
Issue 2 : 2022

 ‘The New Deal’ was a series of programs, public work projects, financial reforms, and regulations enacted by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the United States between 1933 and 1939.

Today, we are using it as the name of our newsletter to inform you of what the Franklin D. Roosevelt Hyde Park Foundation, and our partners, the National Park Service, are working on together to further the preservation and enhancement of the National Historic Sites at Hyde Park, New York. With donations from people like you, we are able to continue this important work.

Thank you for your support!

Kevin Burke
Chair, FDR Hyde Park Foundation

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.

While we have continued to welcome visitors this year, several behind-the-scenes developments have proved to be the most exciting items I’d like to share. First, 2022 was the first year back in selling tickets on-site at the Wallace Visitor Center. In concert with the FDR Presidential Library, we hired all new fee staff and became completely cashless in our operations. This will eliminate many legal oversights of handling government funds and ensure all of our employees have higher-level credentials in handling money.

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!

Amy Bracewell
Roosevelt • Vanderbilt • Van Buren National Historic Sites

Amy Bracewell

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 Direct or 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…

FDR National Library from the air

Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum. Photo courtesy Gerald Berliner Photography.



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.

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.

Volunteer loading a truck with fresh produce containers

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.

NPS Ranger spraying a hot garden volunteer with water

Photo courtesy Jennifer Henion, Roosevelt Home Garden Volunteer

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

Photo courtesy Elizabeth Walden, National Park Service Guide

Image of soil-born garden pest larvae

Interpretation through Social Media

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.

FDR Hyde Park Foundation Symbol

We'd Love To Hear From You!

Connect with us to receive our newsletter and get updates on new initiatives and events.


We will be in touch soon.