Blog

Bridge Gardens Renovation

November 28, 2023
Bridge Gardens

Gardens provide places to engage our senses, enjoy solitude and contemplation, marvel at busy pollinators and birds, and feel a connection to the natural world.

Bridge Gardens Renovation Preview:

Preliminary Master Plan overseen by Rick Bogusch, Garden Director, Bridge Gardens

Architectural Renderings by Oza Sabbeth Architects, Bridgehampton, NY

Landscape Plan by Araiys Design, Southampton, NY

General Contractor by RLW4, Southampton, NY

Bridge Gardens Background

Bridge Gardens (Bridgehampton, New York) is Peconic Land Trust’s 5-acre botanical oasis and educational center open to the public year-round. The center’s classrooms serve as lecture halls, potting sheds, and educational facilities, as well as a gathering place for Peconic Land Trust donors and members of the community. The Gardens provide fertile ground for a variety of programs and workshops focused on the edible landscape, environmentally sensitive gardening and landscaping practices, and interactive experiences in art, music, and children’s activities.

Under the expert care and management of Garden Director Rick Bogusch, Bridge Gardens is a showcase for lush native and non-native plants and demonstrates sustainable, low impact horticultural techniques that can be employed by all.

Donated to the Trust in 2008 by Jim Kilpatric and Harry Neyens, who had the vision of making this private garden a public resource, it is now time to renew the gardens and renovate the educational center. This will enhance our ability to serve and be accessible to more people and connect people to nature and to each other.

You are invited to bring this expanded vision to life by contributing to Cultivating Connections: The Campaign for Bridge Gardens. There are many ways to participate and be recognized for your support.

Current Master Plan

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Current Master Plan

Bridge Gardens: A Place of Learning

With your support, the Garden House, on the footprint of a former potato barn, will be renovated and reimagined as an educational and welcome center, coming to life as a truly public gathering place.

Together, we envision an upgraded building that will be aesthetically attractive and provide:

  • ADA compliant entrances and restrooms
  • Expanded spaces for educational programming
  • A teaching kitchen for garden-to-table demonstrations
  • Septic and water systems upgrades solar paneling
  • Housing for the garden director

These needs are what drive Cultivating Connections: A Campaign for Bridge Gardens.

The expanded and flexible educational spaces will provide community members and partner organizations a place where conversations concerning the future of Long Island’s natural, agricultural, and cultural heritage can take place. Topics will include land conservation, historic and cultural preservation, sustainable farming and gardening, water quality, and other environmental issues affecting our region.

The reimagined education center building and preliminary plan for the gardens includes wheelchair accessible pathways from the parking area to the building and inner garden.

A new amphitheater area is also proposed to take advantage of the natural slope of the grounds and serve as a site for presentations and performances.

The Peconic Land Trust is working with Oza Sabbeth Architects, Araiys Design, and RLW4 Builders to bring this vision to life.

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Current Aerial

Towards a Sustainable Future

We believe that a commitment to sustainability has to start with the question of whether a structure can be reused, and if it can be, it absolutely should.” — Nilay Oza and Peter Sabbeth, principals, Oza Sabbeth Architects

Building Design

The campaign to renovate and renew the educational center at Bridge Gardens provides an opportunity for the Peconic Land Trust to demonstrate its values and commitment to sustainability, climate-sensitive building and gardening practices, and cost-sensitive investments.

Renovation will include:

Adaptive Reuse of the Building

The plans call for demolishing up to 50% of the exterior walls and 100% of the interior walls while keeping the roof in place. This strategy allows us to protect the interior from the elements during construction.

Maximizing light and minimizing indoor heating

Large sections of the new building will be outfitted with expansive windows with high-performance glazing. This will optimize the thermal and acoustic performance of the building. One predominant result of expansive glazing, overheating due to direct sun, will be offset by the extended roof canopy. The natural light and visibility this affords are integral to the well-being of staff and visitors.

Use of sustainable wood

The exterior of the building will incorporate “thermally modified wood” like a yellow poplar. The thermal modification process allows for fast‐growing, sustainable forested woods.

Siding featuring surface plants

The siding design is primed to invite the growth of plants on the surface. The design makes it convenient to replace the siding as needed on a piece-by-piece basis.

Multi-purpose roof design

The existing roof structure will be retained and extended by creating a canopy. As a feature of this reuse, the plan is to integrate solar panels in the roof system in a discreet way. Inspired by the shape and functionality of a leaf, the roof is designed to capture and direct rainwater into a cistern so that it can be reused.

Landscape Materials

Permeable Pathways

ADA compliant walkways will be installed that will have a 5% grade and will circle the Inner Garden. The permeable pathways are porous surfaces designed to infiltrate, treat, and store stormwater. This material is also strong and durable.

Upgraded Septic System

The Trust is working with Stony Brook Center for Clean Water Technology on a Vegetated Wetlands Treatment System (a.k.a. Constructed Wetlands Treatment System).

Use of Reclaimed Materials

The hardscape areas at the entrance and courtyard will use reclaimed granite curbing and the amphitheater will be made from reclaimed granite blocks.

Rain Garden/Bioretention Area

The rain garden at the earthen entrance to the Education Center will treat the stormwater from the roof and will have native plantings and natural stone materials.

Native Plants

All new plants will be native to the region.

Minimized Light Pollution

All outdoor lighting will be compliant with Dark Skies guidelines, allowing visitors to see the stars and night sky and promoting the well-being, health, and safety of people and wildlife.

We have engaged the local landscape design firm of Araiys Design for this project.

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Expanded Community Access

Currently, Bridge Gardens hosts more than 75 educational and do-it-yourself classes annually on sustainable gardening, cooking and canning, wreath making, and plein-air painting.

With this renovation, the Gardens will be able to host more attendees and provide people with limited mobility more opportunities to participate. Building upgrades are mandated for safety and adherence to building codes. Bridge Gardens will be transformed into an educational and welcome center that the Trust and Rick Bogusch have imagined for years.

How You Can Contribute to the Campaign

Gifts of all sizes are welcome! Because this is a construction campaign, planned gifts that are not fully realized in the next 3 years cannot count toward the campaign total but are appreciated for unrestricted organizational support or earmarked specifically for Bridge Gardens. Gifts of cash, securities, or from donor advised funds are welcome.

Your support of Cultivating Connections: A Campaign for Bridge Gardens will be a gift to you, your family, and your community. You will enhance Bridge Gardens’ ability to meaningfully address local conservation issues, build community, create awareness and advocacy on behalf of the environment, and enhance people’s connection to nature.

The impact of your gift will be felt for generations.


For more information on how you can support this effort, please contact Amanda Abraham, Director of Development at 631.283.3195 ext. 120 or AAbraham@PeconicLandTrust.org.

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