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Catskill Regional Medical Center Foundation Holds Garden Enhancement Fundraiser

Catskill Regional Medical Center Facilities employee, Mike Ottino, was honored for nearly 40 years of service to CRMC, including maintenance of the Woodland Wildlings Garden, by Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Schiller and Wellness Coordinator Rebecca Quicksell.

The Catskill Regional Medical Center Foundation held a fundraising event for the enhancement the Woodland Wildlings Garden on September 13, 2018 at Catskill Regional Medical Center, in Harris NY.

Catskill Regional Medical Center Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Schiller helped kick off the fundraiser by announcing his personal contribution of $5,000.

“Charity begins at home,” Mr. Schiller said. “Providing a place of comfort and solace for our patients, visitors and employees ensures our mission of improving the health of the community.”

Those who attended the Wine & Cheese in the Garden fundraising event enjoyed an evening of relaxation and celebration in all that the beautiful gardens have to offer. Facilities employee, Mike Ottino, was also honored for nearly 40 years of service to CRMC.

“Over the last forty years countless volunteers and one particular employee, Mike Ottino, have worked the earth behind our hospital to grow the amazing garden that is here today,” Greater Hudson Valley Health System Director Community Health, Amanda Langseder said. “The Woodland Wildlings Restoration Fund is being established to take their work to the next level by making the garden more accessible and a destination for health and renewal.”

Through these fundraising efforts, the Catskill Regional Foundation hopes to expand and grow the gardens, back patio and walking trails to further provide comfort and tranquility for patients, visitors and employees.

Maintained and made accessible throughout the year (weather permitting), the newly enhanced 1+ acre garden will provide unique seasonal experiences. The proposed plan includes:

  • Maintained, wheelchair accessible pathways with seating throughout
  • Manicured lawn areas
  • Old growth trees
  • Three designated areas of unique foliage: shade, a ericaceous compose zone
  • A sun zone
  • Native shrub thicket
  • Flagstone sitting area with umbrella tables
  • Awater feature and a pergola with swings

A network of fitness trails traversing the entire CRMC campus will also be established to promote both employee and community health.

Conceptual plans for the project have been developed by Delta Engineers, Architects and Landscape Engineers (EAS) with financial support and guidance from Sullivan Renaissance. The Renaissance team connected hospital leadership with the firm which continues to work on the project as it moves into construction level planning. Other generous financial support for the project has included the CRMC Foundation and the Sullivan County Planning Department.

The gardens at Catskill Regional Medical Center first blossomed in the 1980s, under the loving trowels of Ms. Beatrice Brender and a few local green thumbs. For many years, devoted members and master gardeners of the Community Garden Club of Liberty cared for and enhanced the garden. Their effort to beautify an otherwise ordinary hillside behind the hospital began modestly, with a bed of daffodils trumpeting the arrival of something new and beautiful.

Two decades and many new beds later, the National Council of State Garden Clubs registered the Beatrice Brender Memorial Woodland Wildlings Garden in the National Directory of Arboreta & Botanical Gardens. By 2014, the garden had grown to receive a first prize for “Preservation of Beauty” from the Federated Garden Clubs of New York State.

For more information, or to make a donation to the Woodland Wildlings Restoration Fund, visit

About Catskill Regional Medical Center Foundation, Inc.

The Catskill Regional Medical Center Foundation, Inc. is a voluntary, not-for-profit organization whose purpose is to render assistance to and raise funds for CRMC; to underwrite the costs of equipment for lifesaving, diagnosis, therapy, care and cure; to help support the delivery of health care to the needy, ill and infirm; to help support health screenings for health maintenance and disease prevention; and to help support community health care services.

The Catskill Regional Medical Center Foundation, Inc. is governed by a Board of Trustees, volunteers who contribute their time and talents to further the purposes of the organization. If you have an interest in serving on the Foundation Board please call 845-794-3300, ext. 2104.

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