The 18th annual “Arts at the Gardens” benefit for Sonnenberg Mansion & Gardens State Historic Park raised $30,000 this year. On Thursday, Sonnenberg Executive Director David Hutchings joined several key players behind the fundraiser to celebrate what was the largest amount raised by the event over the past few years.
Going strong and consecutively since its inception nearly two decades ago, Arts at the Gardens features the work of more than 100 artists and attracts thousands of visitors. The event is always a major draw and this year it raised $8,000 more than in 2017. Last year, the event took in $22,000; and in 2016, it raised $18,000.
“It is noteworthy, it is a wonderful show,” said Hutchings, who added that the artists and organizers who make the event possible do a fantastic job.
In developments at the historic site, the Native Plant Program is going on now, in partnership with state parks system. The goal is to create sustainable use of the historic Vinery and East Display house. Sonnenberg received partial funding from a state Parks and Trails stewardship grant to help in the project. The program is also growing plants to replant the grasslands and riparian waterways at Ganondagan State Historic Site, Green Lakes State Park and three gorges of Ithaca state parks.
Recently completed projects include restoration of historic garden features such as the Pansy Fountain and replanting of the Victorian Rockery, expected to be done soon.
The remaining funds are almost secured for the Environmental Protection Fund matching grant that was awarded in 2017 for $900,000 for the 2019 Rock Garden Waterway Project. Just $30,000 more is needed to complete restoration of the Rock Garden Waterways next year. Sonnenberg’s century-old Rock Garden features waterfalls, water courses and pools.