FY18 Annual Report
Message to Our Supporters
At the heart of the Maymont Foundation, we are committed to creating experiences that delight, educate and inspire. That’s why, in Fiscal Year 2018, we updated the Maymont mission to reflect that promise. The mission is supported by newly established guiding principles to remain true to the Dooleys’ vision of Maymont as a park and museum for everyone, serve as an exceptional asset to the City of Richmond and its citizens, and foster community engagement, citizen leadership and private philanthropy to ensure that Maymont’s purpose endures.
In support of the updated mission and principles, Maymont staff and the board of directors worked to develop and begin implementing an updated strategic plan. We took steps to enhance the guest experience with new signage, new educational programs and easier opportunities for on-site digital donations. Ideas emerged to grow awareness of Maymont and its countless offerings, and initiatives were developed to keep Maymont thriving into the future.
Last fiscal year also marked the 125th anniversary of the completion of the Maymont Mansion, the centerpiece of the 100-acre estate and a prominent symbol of the original owners’ extraordinary gift to us. The Dooleys surely would be pleased to see that, true to their will, the mansion is now “a museum for the benefit and pleasure of the people of Richmond” (and for tourists from around the globe).
As we look forward to Maymont’s next chapter, we continue to turn to this original vision for guidance. Maymont is here for the people. It’s here for everyone to enjoy unique and wonderful experiences like the exciting happenings mentioned in the highlights below. Thank you for all you do to make that possible.
- Best Park in Virginia, TIME/Money Magazine
- Best Free Tourist Attraction in Virginia, Reader’s Digest
- Best Picnic Spot in the South, Southern Living Magazine
- Best “Do Not Miss” Tourist Attraction, Virginia Living
- Best Family Entertainment, Virginia Living
- Best Outdoor Recreation/Amusement Spot to Visit with Kids, Richmond Magazine
By the Numbers
- 656,000+ visitors enjoyed Maymont’s exhibits, programming and parkland.
- 81,846 guests visited the Nature Center exhibits and toured Maymont Mansion.
- 70,372 people participated in environmental education, history and garden-related events and programs.
- 1,827 volunteers gave their time, contributing over 18,500 hours of service.
- 87 animals were trained, including mammals, birds, reptiles and fish.
- Maymont welcomed many new animals in FY18, including a broad-winged hawk in October, an African pied crow in February, two chain catsharks in March, and five baby goats in May. In contrast, Maymont was saddened by the losses of Cane, a gray fox, and Ella, a river otter.
- 11% increase in daily tour donations was received.
- A Maymont Mansion Preservation Plan was developed, including a detailed condition assessment with recommended treatments and priorities for future preservation.
- Maymont completed several conservation projects including the pedestal for the 17th-century sculpture, “The Birth of Wine,” and the 18th-century Gobelins Manufactory tapestry, “Don Quixote Freed of Folly by Wisdom.”
- 4,484 people engaged in Maymont’s Horticulture Education Outreach programs.
- 1,950 perennials and ferns, 7,900 bulbs, 6,144 pansies and 3,000 summer annuals were planted.
- 23,000 households monthly viewed WCVE’s Virginia Home Grown, hosted by Peggy Singlemann, Maymont Director of Park Operations and Horticulture.
- The arboretum, already home to several champion trees, gained a new national champion – the Tree Lilac (Syringa reticulate) located near the national champion Darlington Oak.
New Events & Offerings
- 80 food and drink aficionados gathered under the Italian Garden pergola in September for the first dining experience of its kind at Maymont, “For Every Saison.” The five-course dinner was designed by local award-winning chefs, and each course was paired with beers from Hardywood Park Craft Brewery.
- Golf Cart Tours were introduced in October, giving guests a new way to experience Maymont’s dynamic history and beautiful landscape, complete with their own personal tour guide.
- Nearly eighty guests convened in the Carriage House courtyard on June 10 for the first “Carriages by Candlelight” event in support of the carriage collection and driving program.
- Richmond’s annual Peace Love RVA Yoga Festival and King of Pops’ weekly evening yoga sessions made Maymont their official new location.
- Over 18,500 hours of service were contributed, a value of $436,000 in time and talent!
- Volunteers of all ages and backgrounds supported Maymont through help with special events, animal care, the carriage collection, guest services, and gardens and grounds projects.
- Maymont mourned the loss of two longstanding volunteers and supporters, William Forrest Long and Francis Boushall Valentine. Our longest serving volunteer, Bill Long, passed away on June 9, 2018, just a few weeks before his 100th birthday. Having volunteered as a tour guide for 39 years, Bill engaged over 120,000 guests on tours and at special events. Francis Valentine, one of the founding members of the Board of Directors, passed away March 6, 2018. She served on the board from 1974 to 1990 and was the first co-chair of the Maymont Council in 1983.
- Maymont’s award-winning volunteers for FY18:
- Outstanding Dedication, Volunteer of the Year: Art Croft
- Corporate Citizenship Award: Capital One
- Department Awards: Sally Brown, Farm; Tom Driscoll, Nature Center; Jane Logan, Mansion; Libba Walters, Carriages; Susan Craik, Administration
- “The Thursday Guys”: Lacy Gray, Billy Sinclair, Mike Thompson, Joe Gagnier, Lynn Herman, David Siebert and Rick Seyler, Gardens and Grounds
- Rookie of the Year Awards: Elizabeth Spivey, Farm; Katherine Snavely, Nature Center; Jarl Jackson, Mansion; Evan Sims, Carriages; Sam Philben, Administration; Pat Land, Gardens and Grounds