Dear Friends of the Ruth Mott Foundation and Applewood,
I hope this message finds you safe, healthy, and happy. I want to thank you for your patience as we have adhered to restrictions to keep our visitors, volunteers, and staff safe and prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. Our doors may be closed, but we have been vigorously making plans with community in mind.
Today, we are announcing that due to COVID-19, Applewood will not be opening for the 2020 season and we will use this time to accelerate multiple large-scale improvement projects that would have otherwise hindered the visitor experience. This decision was weighed very carefully and is the right decision for our guests, volunteers, and staff based on two factors: The No. 1 priority of keeping our community safe and healthy, as well as the unique opportunity to simultaneously add visitor amenities and complete long-awaited preservation projects.
As with any historic site, the Ruth Mott Foundation takes great care to preserve the grounds, structures, and collections at Applewood so that generations to come can enjoy them. We are taking this time of closure due to the coronavirus to, among other projects, perform structural preservation work on the main house and add visitor amenities in the lower gardens area, including the construction of restrooms. In total, these projects would have impeded guests’ access to large portions of the estate and disrupted staff’s ability to plant and maintain certain areas. We are doing them now so that when we open once again the visitor experience will be enhanced and guests can enjoy amenities that weren’t here before.
This pandemic has brought into sharp focus a need to prioritize our community’s health while finding innovative ways to draw on our history and share Applewood and the enduring legacy of C.S. and Ruth Mott. During this time, our staff have been hard at work on ways to virtually share Applewood with our community. We will deliver online many of the programs you’ve come to expect, including Storytime with Applewood and the Lunch & Learn series. We’ve also added virtual programming that harnesses the beauty of the gardens and the historic collections as avenues for guided Mindfulness. You can find these programs – and many more that are in the works – on our Facebook page and our Calendar. We will also be sure to post photos and stories that bring you, our valued guests, along with us as we embark on these improvement projects.
We are very much looking forward to the day when we can once again welcome you to Applewood. The gardens will be waiting!
President, Ruth Mott Foundation