What's going on at the park...


Planning for Spring

I confess what gets me through these dark, cold winter months is the promise of spring and all that it offers. So planning, aka dreaming, of what the Friends can accomplish once the weather warms up is extremely motivating.

These efforts are all made possible through the funds that you, my friends, generously gave us. We had a tremendous response to our end of the year appeal this year - thank you to those who gave.

If you haven't donated yet but want here.

Outdoor Seed Sowing Now?

Although there is a ton of snow on the ground while I’m writing this, there are plenty of seeds that can actually benefit from the being left outside to shiver and peel off those hard outer layers. I stumbled upon an entire subculture of gardeners that are obsessed with winter sowing and I am a getting sucked in as well. I currently have 21 containers with seeds buried beneath the snow in my backyard.

Great candidates for winter sowing include all the perennial flowers that set seed in the fall and propagate naturally in the spring. These include black-eyed Susans, purple coneflower, milkweed, butterfly weed and delphinium. Like the crazy plant lady I am, I went around deadheading some of my favorite seed-bearing perennials at Crawford Park this fall and have potted them up and am waiting to spread their pollinating power back in the park this spring.

If you want to learn more about winter seed sowing check this out.

Tree Highlight - The Mighty Eastern Red Cedar

Eastern red cedars, the native, old wood giants in the park, are well loved by many a park goer - this includes birds as well as babies. It is such a beneficial tree, especially this time of year because its blue berries are an important source of food for more that 50 bird species - most notably the Waxwing Cedar song bird, who is actually named after the tree. And it provides refuge for a wide variety of animals including rabbits, foxes, raccoons and more.

And our old grove, albeit just a few trees residing near the mansion, is especially charming because its base support multiple tree trunks and they invite you in to take it all in: it’s furry bark and heavy aroma was the perfect hide-and-go-seek place my boys would used when they were small.

They are tough trees that have been here longer than all of us and since some species can live 500 years, they will hopefully continue to give visual pleasure, give bird’s food and shelter for centuries to come.

Asking for a Friend -

Many of you who frequent the park may know George Hogben. He lives in the caretaker’s cottage on Lincoln. He is the most kind-hearted, helpful, generous person I know.

He has sat through many of our Friends of Crawford Park meetings and has helped us get several trees and shrubs to the park with his handy pickup truck. Well, he needs our help now.

Words cannot express how I am feeling about this. If you know George - you love him and you would want to help him too. Click here to hear his story.

Thanks again for your interest and support, we are looking forward to growing together this Spring. If you want become an active member of our group. Please email us at Our next monthly zoom meeting is Thursday, February 11th at 7:30pm.

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Updated: Dec 29, 2020

Crawford Park is a Winter Wonderland

Hello all -

Just a quick word of gratitude to all of you who donated to our end of the year appeal this year. And a huge thanks to Park Director, Vic Federico and his staff at the park for transforming the mansion into a winter wonderland.

The Town of Rye has really improved the park this year and I don't think they have been given as much credit as they deserve. So while this crazy year comes to a close, I wanted to take the time let the community know how much the Town is doing to make Crawford Park a safe and wonderful place to be.

The park staff has quickly adapted to an ever-changing landscape during this pandemic. From shutting down the playground as mandated by the state, to safely opening it back up when they were told they can do so.

They hired bathroom attendants who disinfected them several times a day and handed our free face masks to those who needed them. (Note: The bathrooms are currently closed for the season.) And the Town organized and scheduled several safe outdoor activities for the community. They helped the Town of Rye sustainability committee organize a vine clearing day and through a grant they received, they were able to hire additional hands to help clear out the invasive vines throughout the park. The Friends of Crawford are now looking at these newly recovered spaces and planning on what we can plant there next year.

As a volunteer who has helped beautify the park for 16 years, I am so impressed with the amount of progress the park staff has made this year. I notice how quickly things get addressed now. New arbors are installed, debris gets picked up daily, trees and bushes are cut back from the path and much more.

Having a well-maintained park, makes our mission of beautification so much easier. The Friends of Crawford Park are planning and planting next year and if you want to help us out please email me at and I'll send you information on our January zoom meeting, scheduled for Jan. 14th @ 7:30pm.

Or if you still want to make an end of the year donate - see the "Donate" button at the top of this page.

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Dear Friends:

2020 has been a year like no-other and like so many other non-profits, The Friends of Crawford Park adapted to our new reality and, meeting virtually, we continued with our work to beautify the park and make it a treasured space for all its visitors. With your generosity, we were able to make many enhancements this year:

  • Although our community planting day was cancelled, we were able to use funds to buy and have planted hundreds of flowering annuals in the Sunken Garden, Morabito garden and mansion beds.

  • We installed the new planting area and bought 3 new dogwood trees for the parking lot area

  • 3 new benches were installed

  • The wildflower meadow was revitalized

  • Over 600 bulbs were planted this fall all around the park

  • Containers at the exit to the park were planted and maintained

  • We installed a new fountain feature in the center of the Sunken Garden

The park has been a refuge for so many of us during these social distancing times and the community usage has never been higher. Our plan is to continue to enhance the park and support it as a community destination for nature, tranquility and recreation.

We promised you a new path as part of our Pave the Way campaign and it is still our top priority for 2021. The path renovation is costly, and we are partnering with the Town of Rye to secure funds to fulfill this goal, but it will also require donations from our park-goers and patrons to reach our goal. And so, we are sending you this appeal to help us create a safe and smooth walking path in 2021. Please contribute whatever amount you can to help us turn our Pave the Way goal into a reality.

We hope to be back in 2021 with our annual Rock Lobster gala, but until then, we’ll see you in the park!

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The Friends of Crawford Park is an all-volunteer, 501(C)(3) organization whose purpose is to continually enhance and maintain this jewel of the community.

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Photo Credit: Diana Lee Angstadt


T: +1-914-417-9151


A: 122 North Ridge Street
     Rye Brook, NY 10573 USA