A Note From Rick | Reflections from the 2021 Season

January 4, 2022

By Rick Bogusch

Bridge Gardens

2021 saw many, many visitors to the Gardens. And they were a diverse group, all ages, parents and children, many children, people from all over Long Island and from all over the world. Many were first timers, but there were also many repeat visitors. Some returned monthly, even weekly, to see what’s new, to tour the sculpture exhibition, to sit under the big white pine and soak up the sun or take in the view.

Many discovered Bridge Gardens as the sanctuary it was meant to be, a place of well-being in challenging times. It’s gratifying those visitors are still coming now in winter, even on cold, cloudy days. Being open year-round encourages visitors to embrace and enjoy all the seasons and to get to know the ever-changing gardens throughout the year.

At home, people are spending more time tending their gardens and growing their own vegetables and herbs. With its demonstration vegetable and fruit gardens, tours, classes and videos, Bridge Gardens shows visitors how to adopt gardening habits that are sustainable and planet friendly. Education is an important part of what we do at Bridge Gardens. We teach visitors how to grow their own organic vegetables (or encourage them to buy locally). We teach the importance of planting native species and pollinator-friendly plants, which ones to plant and how. We teach composting and how to take care of lawns and gardens without toxic chemicals.

In 2021, we hosted many educational programs, both in-person and on-line. With support from the Bridgehampton Association, we created and installed new signage in English and Spanish to tell visitors about the work of the Peconic Land Trust and about Bridge Gardens. We continued to provide the expertise of Paul Wagner, our Lawn Expert. Working with Cheryl Sokolow of C Fine Art, the gardens saw the installation of a magnificent sculpture exhibition that’s attracted many visitors to the gardens and will be with us through this September. Also new to the Gardens was the arrival of TravelStorys, the audio tour we created to provide information to visitors as they explore the garden. It can be experienced from home, too.

As in years past, Hayground School staff, our neighbors down the road on Mitchell Lane, brought their classes to Bridge Gardens throughout summer and fall. For them, it’s an easy walk from Hayground. The children enjoyed picking and eating raspberries, papaws, and carrots while they learned about nature, gardens, herbs and native plants and how their food is grown.

As we have for the past 10 years, we grew over a thousand pounds of vegetables for the Sag Harbor food pantry, all harvested with the help of our team of reliable volunteers. Volunteers remain an important part of our work force, tackling difficult weeding and deadheading projects with dependability and ease.

We continued adding native plants to gardens and landscapes, many of them grown from seed or from inexpensive bareroot seedlings raised in our small nursery. We also started growing native plants for Trust restoration projects on conserved lands.

Looking forward, we’ll continue our efforts to provide the public with a place to enjoy nature and the outdoors. We’ll continue to educate visitors about the great work of the Trust and through our outreach programs, encourage them to reduce their carbon footprints by changing the ways they garden, by planting trees, by growing their own.

We’ve made a commitment to engage more members of the community by partnering with the Bridgehampton Childcare and Recreation Center on their mission to support and educate underserved members of the community. Additional children’s programming is being planned for the year to create future stewards of the land.

The Trust provides this beautiful public space to you free of charge and supports its mission to be a resource for education and the community at large. I hope that you will continue to find comfort and inspiration at Bridge Gardens and in the natural places made possible through your support

Happy New Year!


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