Garden preservation lies at the core of the Garden Conservancy's mission to preserve America's exceptional gardens for the education and enjoyment of the public. Since 1989, the Garden Conservancy has helped over 90 exceptional gardens across America survive and prosper A select few become Preservation Projects of the Garden Conservancy, the signature program of our Preservation Projects department. Designation as a Garden Conservancy Preservation Project entails a long-term collaboration and commitment on both sides.
The Preservation Projects program brings structure and focus to the preservation of important and historically significant private gardens across the United States and the role they play in people's lives. It applies sound preservation and conservation principles to the task and finds ways to transform these gardens into protected and well managed public entities. In partnership with individual garden owners as well as public and private organizations, the Garden Conservancy provides the horticultural, technical, management, and financial expertise needed to sustain these fragile environments and ensure long-term stewardship of natural assets so essential to the aesthetic and cultural life of our communities.
Exceptional gardens most often begin as private affairs, the life work of passionate, dedicated, and remarkably talented gardeners. A select number of these are capable of flourishing for generations as public gardens, and it is the Conservancy's role to facilitate their historic and aesthetic preservation as well as public visitation. The Conservancy's Preservation Projects program takes a leadership role in the transition of these gardens from private to non-profit ownership and management.
When an outstanding garden becomes a Preservation Project of the Garden Conservancy, the owners of the garden and the Conservancy embark on a rigorous process that involves the structuring of legal strategies and conservation easements to protect the property from development. Master plans for stabilization, preservation, interpretation, horticultural management, and public access are developed. New organizational and financial strategies are implemented to build sound governance and fiscal foundations. Often, interim management is required. The Conservancy may take a direct management role, assuming responsibility for managing the garden, hiring staff, administering programs as well as managing the financial well being of the garden. The Conservancy provides support such as bookkeeping, personnel management, fundraising, public visitation, planning and promotion. It extends its involvement and ongoing advisory services over time to ensure quality and stability.
The Garden Conservancy maintains offices in Cold Springs, New York and in San Francisco.