Over time, the historic collection has succumbed to storm and animal damage, as well as insects and diseases. We have secured funding to recreate the collection in a more suitable location for its cultural requirements. Funding has come to us through long time Arboretum friend, volunteer, and philanthropist Arthur (“Art”) Coleman as a Schwab Foundation grant. Art’s gift has allowed us to source as many of the original lilac varieties as we could find available in today’s trade, as well as to hire a professional planting team, Habitat Garden Design, Inc., to install each specimen correctly. Other generous friends have also made themselves available to help with this project, including retired landscape designer Steve Whitesell, Jeff Schworm, and Landis Board President Jim Paley. Together we have created an innovative new garden area that will include some of our sculptures along with the lilacs. Specimens will be labeled, and the area will be named for Art and his wife Barbara.
Art’s philanthropy only begins with the restoration of our historic Lilac Collection. He has also donated to the Ed Miller Native Plant Trail endowment account. The account helps to sustain the ongoing maintenance of this important “living museum,” which includes nearly all the woody plants native to New York State. Art’s generosity has also made it possible for Landis to purchase a new BG BASE computer which houses all our collection data since our beginning in 1951.