2023 Annual Report

Sonnenberg Gardens had a good 2023 Gardens Season. Our gate attendance is steady at above 30,000 people who came as visitors to the park. We opened for the season on May 1st and closed on October 30th for a five-day schedule last year.  Sonnenberg did have a good year in community sponsorships and our private event season was able to hit the budget for the 2023 season.   Our individual contributions and in-kind contributions have been steady throughout the 2023 season but had a wonderful increase in business contributions of $185,000 for Historic Preservation and project work. If you would like more information regarding any of our planned giving programs or memorial contributions, please get in touch with me at director@sonnenberg.org or 585-394-4922.  


We had some growth in 2023 with the EPF matching grant of 490K award which we have completed our match of $98,000 to complete our match portion in 2023. We received two notable operations and conservation grants in a $34,000 ZBGA grant for the arboretum collection and a Stewardship grant for digitizing our historic collections and archives from Parks and Trails NY. We are always grateful for the smaller grants from Auburn Public Theatre, Wegmans, and Thompson Health Foundation for programs to assist with our mission-driven programs. The Board of Trustees and Staff are encouraged by the positive results of so many of these efforts this season as well as the charitable trust gift to bolster our future as a not-for-profit. We all look forward to the further restoration of Sonnenberg’s physical property in 2024 with the waterway restoration project continuing with Rock Garden and Japanese Garden Waterways. This project in the final phase is now completed and we will be lining and rebuilding a portion of the Rock Garden. We are on the right track in our slow and steady return to being a community and regional destination as a public garden and historical home of the Thompsons. We look forward to opening again in 2024 as our nonprofit celebrates our 51st anniversary continuing to herald the story of Frederick and Mary Clark Thompson’s legacy in Canandaigua. Thank you to all the volunteers, members, and the community who assist us with our continued success.