2017 Gala Honorees

Teatown is proud to celebrate David Swope, Brooklyn Botanic Garden and Open Space Institute, our three honorees who have been so important to Teatown throughout its 50-plus years.

They have supplied advice and inspiration while Teatown grew from an idea to the forward-looking and impactful organization it is today. We are thrilled that they are willing to let us honor them, and in the process, showcase what they — and our entire community of supporters, donors, volunteers and neighbors — have helped to accomplish at Teatown.

David Swope

David has been connected to Teatown his entire life, having grown up here and then serving on the Teatown Board of Trustees for several terms, including two terms as the Chair. David is a leader in Westchester County and has been on the Board and Chair of the Jacob Burns Film Center, Westchester Community College, Westchester Community College Foundation, Phelps Memorial Hospital and the Ossining Children’s Center. He represents a connection to Teatown’s past, as well as being an influential voice in articulating and supporting Teatown’s exciting future in environmental science, stewardship and education in our region.

Open Space Institute

OSI is a leader in the protection of open spaces having safeguarded almost 150,000 acres of open space in the Adirondacks, Hudson River Valley, Shawangunks and Catskills in their 43-year history. OSI preserves diverse landscapes including habitats for rare or endangered species, ensures healthy water quality, facilitates wildlife adaptation to climate change, enhances recreational access and shields land from future development. At Teatown, they were instrumental in multiple major acquisitions, including the 72-acre Croft Parcel acquired in 2010,  and the recently acquired 40-acre Overlook Parcel.

Brooklyn Botanic Garden

In 1963, BBG accepted a 194-acre gift from the Swope Family at a time when no other conservation organization foresaw the need for protected open space in Northern Westchester, then largely undeveloped.  When Teatown was organized and ready to become independent, BBG offered a 200-year ground lease to Teatown, enabling it to grow as a community-based organization.  With BBG’s continued support, Teatown has developed into the strong organization it is today.

An innovative force in conservation and education since the early 20th century, BBG inspired Teatown‘s education programs which have grown exponentially over the decades. Former BBG Director, Betty Scholtz was an integral friend and partner during Teatown’s formative years and will leave a mark for many years still to come.