Growth and Energy at Landis

Juried, Volunteers Play Key Role

By Matthew Avitabile

The new and improved walkway.

The spacious meeting room at “the Nick” with a fantastic view.

Breglia in the new and improved kitchen.

Breglia holding a plaque thanking Nick Juried, the first of several planned for the ‘Arb.’

Breglia standing with John Scrima at the new pavilion site while Dan Swem works. The pond can be seen in the background.

ESPERANCE — Landis Arboretum is on a roll. Volunteers, contractors, board members, and community philanthropist Nick Juried have combined to make one of the most scenic and popular sites in the county significantly better.

Executive Director Fred Breglia showed the impressive growth during a visit to the ‘Arb’ last week. This improvement was significant even compared to our late winter article on the Bluebird Trail.

He cited a number of quality-of-life improvements, especially ahead of the Signature Spring Plant, Book, and Bake Sale on Saturday and Sunday, May 18 & 19 from 10 am to 4 pm. He complimented the work of stonemason Mark Stephens on the walkway leading to the Farmhouse.

The old one had to be replaced due to wear and tear and part of the generous grants provided by the Nicholas J. Juried Family Foundation made it possible.

Inside the Farmhouse there were numerous improvements, including new floor supports, a new kitchen, new windows, and more. Breglia said that the Arboretum was careful to keep the original doors and paneling in order not to “lose the original character.”

He also cited new lighting throughout, which helped to brighten the space in more ways than one.

Breglia was effusive in his praise of Juried, saying that his support meant that the Arboretum could act “quickly.”

He said that the team “hit the ground and worked all winter.”

The executive director held one of at least three plaques thanking Mr. Juried, who grew up in Gilboa. Several more may follow.

The Arboretum had been living on a “fixed income” prior to the grants from Juried, which allowed for one of the largest expansions in the location’s history

The work of volunteers and fundraisers was boosted, allowing for the Arboretum to focus on “bigger picture things.”

The Farmhouse especially needed aid, said Breglia. Juried helped at the “Nick of time,” he said.

Breglia added that Juried was “in a lot of ways our savior.
The funds were used to rehab the conference and events center on the top of the hill, now affectionately called “the Nick.” The center is available for events, including marriages, birthdays memorial services, and more. One of the recent vents at the “Nick” was a volunteer luncheon, which corresponds with Juried’s aid for heavily-volunteer-oriented organizations.

“He gave us the ability to continue to grow.”

Breglia said that the group was “head over heels” over the aid of Juried, and added that he was personally inspired by him. The executive director said that Juried set the example of how much one person can change things.

The Nick received significant improvements, including a new roof, siding, and windows.

“You don’t just rent the building, you rent the grounds,” Breglia said, citing the great view off the deck.

Nearby is the site of a future pavilion and renewed pond. The pavilion should be completed by the end of June.

The Boy Scout troop that meets there have “the coolest clubhouse,” he said.

He also thanked the board members, including Board President Jim Paley, who “has been instrumental” and had “foresight” in the Arboretum’s future.

Breglia said that he always sought to leave the Landis Arboretum “better than I found it.” Through his work, dedicated volunteers, skilled workers, and Nicholas J. Juried, he’s already fulfilled that mission.