Queens Botanical Garden Launches Fundraising Campaign to Honor Susan Lacerte’s Retirement and Nearly Three Decades of Indelible Leadership
Flushing, NY— September 2021 After 27 years as Executive Director at Queens Botanical Garden (QBG), Susan Lacerte announced her upcoming retirement at the end of September 2021. In a special message, she reflected, “On July 11, 1994, when I walked onto the grounds of Queens Botanical Garden as Executive Director, I did not imagine that I would be here for nearly three decades…I will be retiring in September and moving to Maine with my husband, to be nearer our twins, other family, and friends.” In honor of her nearly three decades of remarkable management, the Garden is holding a fundraising campaign: https://queensbotanical.org/susans-retirement/.
Olivia Cothren, QBG Director of Development, provided more background on the campaign. “Susan has always said that her greatest wish was ‘$1,000,000 for Queens Botanical Garden’! So, in honor of her retirement and all she’s done for the Garden, we’re trying our very best to see how close we come to making her wish come true! We invite the people of Queens and New York to participate in this effort.”
Looking Back Fondly
Among her many major accomplishments during her nearly three decades at the Garden, are:
• In 1997, Susan adopted the Garden’s vision to be “the place where people, plants, and cultures meet.”
• In 2007, she set a new benchmark for sustainability with the opening of the Visitor & Administration Building, New York City’s first public building to achieve Platinum LEED certification.
• For over 25 years, she fostered the NYC Compost Project at Queens Botanical Garden.
• Susan developed new gardens in the 39-acre oasis, including the Kaltman Fragrance Walk, Circle Garden, Four Seasons Border, Sustainable Rose Garden, and Unity Garden.
• She presented newly paved pathways in a $5.5 million project to welcome the next wave of visitors to the heart of Queens.
• More recently, Susan launched the design development and capital campaign for the upcoming Education Center Building, slated to open in 2024, which will greatly enhance our environmental education efforts.
• Under her leadership during the pandemic, QBG became one of the first NYC cultural institutions to reopen during the COVID-19 pandemic on July 21, 2020.
While looking back and celebrating Lacerte’s achievements at the Garden, staff and Trustees are also currently conducting a search for the next Executive Director to lead the cultural organization in Flushing, Queens.
“Thanks to Susan’s leadership, the Garden has been transformed from a nearly forgotten space into an urban oasis that welcomes hundreds of thousands of people to the heart of Queens,” says Raymond D. Jasen, QBG Board Chair. “It is a testament to what Susan has achieved that so many incredibly talented people from all over the country have applied to become our next Executive Director to help us to build on the Garden’s achievements in the years to come.”
About Queens Botanical Garden
Queens Botanical Garden is an urban oasis where people, plants, and cultures are celebrated through inspiring gardens, innovative educational programs and real-world applications of environmental stewardship. QBG is located on property owned by the City of New York, and its operation is made possible in part by public funds provided through the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Queens Borough President, the New York City Council, State elected officials, the New York State Department of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, along with corporate, foundation, and individual supporters. For more information, visit www.queensbotanical.org or call (718) 886-3800.