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The Conservatory Garden
By 1982, this once elegant formal designed in the 1930s had fallen into disrepair due to lack of city funding for the Parks Department. Graffiti, broken bottles, compacted lawns and overgrown flower beds frightened people, and they stayed away. A painter and horticulturist, Lynden Miller was asked by Elizabeth Rogers, the Administrator of Central Park, to undertake its restoration.
By raising private funds, redesigning the plantings, hiring qualified staff and organizing a dedicated volunteer group of gardeners, Mrs. Miller was able to restore a lovely elegant garden for the people of New York. As Director since that time, she has overseen the operations of the garden, raised an endowment for its long term care and, by continuing the highest standards of horticulture, brought the public back in huge numbers to enjoy this special place.
Most important, the restoration and continued success of the garden, despite its location in a poor part of the city, has proved without a doubt that everyone, rich and poor, will respect and love a beautiful place when it is well-maintained.