From our President

by Gary Griffin on August 30, 2017

I have a question for you. What is it that leads you to participate in the life of a non-profit entity such as the Friends of Maclay Gardens State Park, or any other non-profit for that matter?

There are myriad reasons I suspect, but foremost among them would likely be one’s personal confidence in the goal of the non-profit and the value of that goal in the local community and beyond in furthering the quality of life for themselves and others.

As Chair of the Friends of Maclay Gardens I recently had the pleasure of presiding over our annual “Board Retreat” – a Sunday afternoon spent reflecting on and evaluating who we are and what we are called to be and review how we are doing in answering that call.

The foundation of our discussion that day was in what is defined as “Purpose”, as set forth in the Friends’ By-Laws back in 1992 which call us in three specific areas:

  1. Provide volunteer support in the operation of the Park
  2. Generate financial support for Park projects and programs
  3. Promote the best interests of Maclay Gardens through a variety of outreach efforts

The world has changed a bit since the Friends’ founders drafted this “Purpose” 27 years ago, but the goal of the FOMG has not. I invite you to take a quick look at just a few of the things that have taken place in the past year that demonstrate the commitment to meet those goals:

  • Approval of funding for a significant upgrading of the irrigation system in the Gardens
  • In the final stages of donating a parcel of land adjacent to Maclay Gardens SP (valued at near $100,000) to the Department of Environmental Protection for Park use.
  • Produced the fall 2016 Moon Over Maclay jazz concert and Scarecrows in the Park as well as the 23rd annual spring 2017 Tour of Gardens that together raised $30,000 for Park projects and programs.
  • Funded a large scale azalea pruning and invasive vine removal that seriously threatened the well-being of “the azalea hillside” within the Gardens.
  • Provided funding for seasonal plantings at the Park entrance and for the repair of Park equipment
  • Provided significant volunteer hours in support of Park staff and projects

We are grateful for those who have supported the Friends of Maclay Gardens over the years for your support has enabled this non-profit to consistently fulfill its calling. Having said that, the extent of our calling grows daily, it seems. Maclay Gardens is a high maintenance park and though we are gifted with a hard-working staff, the demands that they and the Park itself face are daunting.
The Park, and the Friends need your help. Why not join us now in assuring the future well-being of Maclay Gardens State Park? We are offering a half-price, year-end membership opportunity to join with us in this effort. Visit our web site at or the Park entrance station to do so.
Gary Griffin, 2017 Board President, Friends of Maclay Gardens, Inc.