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Author: 
Christian Barclay
Gardener John GundersonGardener John Gunderson has been with Friends of the High Line since 2011. Photo by Friends of the High Line

While the High Line is meant to look like a wild landscape, it requires an extraordinary amount of work to maintain the plant life. The horticulture team is responsible for maintaining the park’s more than 300 species of perennials, grasses, shrubs, and trees. In our first Staff Spotlight, we’re focusing on John Gunderson, a gardener who’s been with Friends of the High Line for three years.

Author: 
Jennette Mullaney
Photo by Timothy Schenck"Head to the ground" is a compliment in gardening, indicating a serious commitment to work. Maeve demonstrates the pose in this candid shot as she tends to the 23rd Street Lawn. Photo by Timothy Schenck

This week we say farewell to Senior Gardener Maeve Turner. After nearly five years at Friends of the High Line, Maeve is leaving our organization to become the Curator of the Herb Garden at Brooklyn Botanic Gardens. She describes the new role as her "other dream job," and we're thrilled that she's moving on to such an incredible position.

But we're so sad to see her go. Maeve began working at the High Line in June of 2009, just one week after the park first opened to the public, and her footprint on our gardens is indelible. Although it would be impossible to sum up Maeve's time here in one mere blog post – not to mention her achievements – we've shared a few highlights and cherished memories below.

Author: 
Jennette Mullaney
Categories: 
Photo by Liz LigonOur new Executive Director, Jenny Gersten, grew up minutes from the High Line – her childhood apartment building is visible in the background of this picture. Photo by Liz Ligon

Although it's been only a few weeks since Jenny Gersten joined Friends of the High Line as our new Executive Director, we feel like this dynamic New York City native is already part of the family.

Jenny grew up in Greenwich Village, just minutes from the structure we now know as the High Line. But the High Line of her childhood was not yet a park in the sky with kids programs, blooming flowers, and mouthwatering ice-cream sandwiches. We sat down with the former Artistic Director of the Williamstown Theatre to learn more about her vision for our growing organization.

Author: 
Jennette Mullaney
Categories: 
Enlarge

We have exciting news to share with you. After completing an extensive search, it is our great pleasure to introduce Jenny Gersten, who will be joining Friends of the High Line as its Executive Director in January. Jenny will replace Robert Hammond, who earlier this year announced his plans to step down from the Executive Director position at the end of 2013. Joshua David will remain with Friends of the High Line as its President and will be working closely with Jenny in her role as Executive Director.

We are incredibly fortunate to have found an accomplished leader in Jenny, who has a proven track record of success in program development, non-profit management, and fundraising for arts and culture organizations. As the Artistic Director of the Williamstown Theatre Festival, where she has worked since 1996, Jenny helped create and oversee the organization’s long-range strategic plan and $7 million endowment fund. She also managed a vast professional development and training program for more than 200 apprentices, interns, and professional staff. Before the Williamstown Theatre Festival, Jenny served as the Associate Producer of The Public Theater in New York City, where she produced six Shakespeare in the Park productions.

Author: 
Kate Lindquist
Photo by Tom Kletecka.

Later this season, Danya Sherman, our Director of Public Programs, Education & Community Engagement, will be moving on from Friends of the High Line to pursue a graduate degree in urban planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston.

Though she will stay with us through June to help transition her successor, we want to take a moment to reflect on her positive impact and share our personal experience working with her.

Follow us after the jump for photos and anecdotes from the High Line community.

Author: 
Kate Lindquist
Categories: 

We are pleased to introduce you to Jennette Mullaney – social media guru, literary buff, art enthusiast, cat lover, and the latest addition to our staff at Friends of the High Line. As the new Digital Communications Manager, Jennette is working to share the High Line story and engage the park’s fans around the world on our social media channels.

We asked Jennette to answer a few questions about herself and her plans for the High Line.

Author: 
Jennette Mullaney
It’s alternative spring break week at the High Line. Pictured here are the teens participating in this year’s High Line Green Corps, an education and job-training program by Friends of the High Line. Photo by Beverly Israely

Sixteen-year-old Winona Kay Holderbaum was amazed the first time she visited the High Line. “As a little girl, I used to pass by the overgrown bridge with my father, and I always wondered why no one could go up there,” she says.

Winona is one of ten teens selected from among 90 applicants for this year’s Green Corps program. Since January, the teens have been spending their afternoons at the High Line, earning a paycheck and receiving valuable job experience in fields like urban ecology, horticulture, and sustainability. This week is the teens’ spring break, and they’ve been working daily at the park, helping the High Line Gardeners and High Line Educators complete Spring Cutback.

Author: 
Kate Lindquist
Categories: 
EnlargePhoto by Barry Munger

We are about to begin an exciting new chapter in the life of the High Line.

Friends of the High Line Co-Founder Robert Hammond today announced his intent to step down at the end of the year. Along with Co-Founder Joshua David, Robert has worked tirelessly for 14 years to build the High Line and make it into a beloved public space.

Follow us after the jump to read Robert’s letter to supporters.





Author: 
Kate Lindquist
The High Line will reopen on Monday, November 5 and operate on a limited schedule until further notice. Photo by Melissa Mansur
 

We have wonderful news to share. After being closed for a week due to severe weather and flooding caused by Hurricane Sandy, the High Line will reopen on Monday, November 5, 2012.

We are relieved that the High Line's plantings, design features, and artworks are in great shape following the storm. However, due to significant damage to some of the park’s utility connections, the High Line will be operating on a temporary schedule. Until further notice, the park will be open daily between 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM.

Follow us after the jump to learn more and get important park updates.

Author: 
Kate Lindquist
The High Line remains closed in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
 

Today, many public parks in New York City are reopening after unprecedented closures following Hurricane Sandy. We are very eager to reopen the High Line, but there is important work we must first do to ensure it is safe and ready for visitors.

Follow us after the jump to learn more and view photos.

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