The Friends

The Friends of Sunnyside Conservatory began with a few neighborhood residents, each discovering the Conservatory and having that Alice-in-Wonderland feeling of entering another world.

In 1999, with a notice in the Sunnyside Neighborhood Association newsletter, Arnold Levine officially organized the group as the Friends. He and Stacy Garfinkel have served as Friends’ Co-Chairs since the group’s founding. Our advocacy + stewardship success could never have happened without a dedicated steering committee: Chester Harstough, Andrea O’Leary, Sally Ross, pro-bono landscape architect Vera Gates @ Arterra, and press photographer extraordinaire Bill Wilson.  Collectively the Friends leveraged ingenuity, pluck, and professional skills to make our neighborhood better: design, writing, public relations, lighting, cost estimation, teaching, photography, and gardening.  Thank you to all of our volunteers and to the neighborhood for embracing the project.

And to William Augustus Merralls who dreamt up this place, we say thank you for making the Conservatory special enough that it has survived against all the odds and brought our community together.

Over 400 folks turned out to get a peek at the new Conservatory.



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