As we move into 2022, we carry all that we learned, discovered, and accomplished in 2021. Last year Tyler set some big goals as an organization. Our work on the Pink Hill Serpentine Barren continued. We worked to steward our Natural Areas with our skilled Natural Areas team’s invaluable expertise and hard work.

Natural Areas Team hard at work (L), A Philadelphia Lily on Pink Hill (R)

We are also proud to share that:

  • In Lucille’s Garden we donated more than 2,500 lbs. of fresh produce to the Media Food Bank. You can learn more in Volunteer Lynn Lampman’s phenomenal article “A Weighty Matter.”
  • We continued to expand and enhance our plant collection, thanks in part to the incredible support of our members through the 2021 Member’s Choice Project. You can read more about just a few of the wonderful plants we added in our article “Planting for the Future.
  • We successfully expanded the season in the Pollinator Preserve, transforming this previously under-utilized space from an attraction lasting just a few weeks in the summer months to a year-round garden where you can observe the complex relationships between plants and insects in every season.
  • We produced and shared two different video series, “Growing Vegetables” and “Forensic Investigators,” to help people learn, grow, and engage with the natural world.
  • And we were able to gather people together for tours and programs, including our Weekly Bird Walks, Saturday Wildflower Walks, Weekend Warm-up Hikes, and so much more.

Of course, last year also held the loss of our beloved Cedar of Lebanon. You can watch the moving tribute video to this iconic and beloved Tyler tree on our YouTube channel, titled “Cedar of Lebanon – Witness of History.” We’re still getting used to the sight of the Barn without the sheltering arms of the Cedar. The loss of this tree will be felt for many years to come, but we are looking forward to honoring its memory by continuing the legacy of this garden space.

The time has come now to look to the future. To take bold steps to carry Tyler’s legacy into 2022 – and beyond. The projects ahead of us will take time and dedication. So let’s take a moment to hear from Executive Director, Mandy Santiago about Tyler’s three big priorities this year.

“As we look ahead to 2022 at Tyler, our underlying theme centers on two words: legacy and balance. The Painter, Minshall, and Tyler families left each of us a precious gift: records of their horticultural discoveries and plantings, a multitude of thriving ecosystems, and one of the largest and contiguous tracts of open space remaining in Delaware County, filled with the breathtaking vistas, trails, and collections that make Tyler a unique and inspiring place to connect with – and immerse oneself in – nature. It is out of respect and admiration for this impressive legacy — and our desire to ensure Tyler’s landscapes are around for future generations to enjoy — that we are making a few targeted investments this year:

  1. Creating a new pathway to the Old Arboretum. We plan to use the space left by the Cedar of Lebanon to create a new garden and a new access point to this historic and beautiful part of the Tyler Property. You can learn more about this project here: “Connecting Our Past with Our Present.” 
  2. Preventing further erosion of our land and collections as we contend with Climate Change by implementing environmentally-friendly stormwater management solutions throughout the Arboretum.
  3. Renovating Lachford Hall to protect the precious artifacts and heirlooms from the Painter, Minshall, and Tyler families contained in the museum, hoping that we can reopen it to the public in future years.

Interior of Lachford Hall

As our base of members, visitors, and volunteers continue to grow in the years ahead, we are mindful that we must devote an equal level of care and attention to maintaining the trees, habitats, streams, and buildings that have taken such good care of us. We thank you in advance for renewing your membership, supporting the annual fund and sharing your time and talents with us as we address these important initiatives in the months ahead.” – Executive Director, Mandy Santiago

Those three projects – honoring the space left by the Cedar of Lebanon, implementing stormwater management solutions, and protecting our legacy through the renovation of Lachford Hall – will be our big goals for 2022. Although it will take commitment and time to see these projects through to completion, we did the most challenging part — we got started.

Alongside those projects, we will continue, as always, to share this special place with our members, visitors, volunteers and the community. We are excited to continue to welcome everyone to Tyler in 2022. And we look forward to seeing what the New Year brings.