2021 Annual Report

In 2021, Sonnenberg Gardens and Mansion had a season of recovery despite the continued challenges from the Covid19 pandemic that has affected all of us for a second year.

The earned income was above our budget at the year’s end except for bus tours and wine center sales. We were open five days a week for the 2021 season starting on April 23rd with our Orchid show and closing on October 31st. Our gate attendance had an overall increase to this year’s visitation as we had approximately 33,400 guests versus the previous year of 13,000.

Sonnenberg had a good year in community sponsorships and contributions. Our contributions and in-kind contributions have been steady throughout the 2021 season. We had some growth in 2021 with the EPF community matching grant and raised approximately $100k to complete our match portion in 2021. We received two notable grants for operations and conservation; ZBGA totaling approximately $27k for the arboretum collection and a Historic Preservation grant of 10K to finish the Greenhouse Vinery project in 2022. We also received the Thompson Health Foundation grant for $1k to assist with the community vegetable garden. The Board of Trustees and Staff are encouraged by the positive results of so many of these efforts this season.

We all look forward to furthering the restoration of Sonnenberg’s physical property in 2022. Last year we restored the Glorietta and repaired two porches on the Mansion and the Hercules Fountain. In 2022 Projects include the opening of the new entrance driveway project off of Gibson Street and continuing with the Rock Garden and Japanese Garden waterways project and the repair of the Historic Charlotte Street Gates and completing the Greenhouse Vinery project. We are happy to announce the Gardens were able to host many Arts and Cultural events including the Geneva Music Festival with the debut of the Sonnenberg Suite, a juried Arts At The Gardens show, Moonlight Strolls with four genres of music, and theatre with our Mansion Mystery and Haunted Strolls. We also were able to hold 27 incredibly successful private events and multiple photoshoots to enjoy our beautiful gardens and our historic house museum.

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 Thompson’s. We look forward to opening again in 2022 at this State Historic Park that continues to herald the story of Frederick and Mary Clark Thompson’s legacy in Canandaigua.

Thank you to all the volunteers, members, and the community at large that assist us with our continued success.