Annual meeting held by Friends of Hopelands, Rye Patch
Hopelands Gardens and Rye Patch are among Aiken’s biggest attractions, welcoming more than 50,000 visitors this past year.
During the annual meeting of the Friends of Hopelands and Rye Patch in March, Mayor Rick Osbon and City Manager Stuart Bedenbaugh thanked the Friends for the productive partnership the group has had with the city of Aiken for 48 years.
The Friends’ most recent accomplishments include the reopening of the Gerde Carriage Museum, the dedication of the Birds and Butterfly Garden, the establishment of the Gardens on the American Camellia Trail and the refurbishment of the Rose Garden with a lovely wrought iron fence surrounding it.
The Friends provide advice to the city of Aiken and raise funds “for the preservation, improvement and use of the (Hopelands and Rye Patch) properties to be enjoyed by Aiken’s residents and visitors,” according to the organization’s mission statement.
Continuing as Friends officers are Rich Waugh, president; Charlotte Wiedenman, vice president; Rob Cunningham, treasurer; and Gail Ebner, corresponding secretary.
Lil Borop Brannon was elected as the recording secretary.
David Jameson, President and CEO of the Greater Aiken Chamber of Commerce and an ex officio member of the Friends, spoke about the work of Robert Marvin, who developed the master plan for Hopelands Gardens.
Rich Waugh discussed the Friends’ plans in the years ahead to continue developing the Gardens to their original beauty of years past following the vision of Marvin’s work.
Waugh thanked those trustees whose terms were ending and welcomed those who were continuing or were beginning a three-year term.
Second term trustees are Janet Harkins, Sue Hayes, Pete Sampson, Sarah Taylor, Sara Wood, and Dan Zaloudek.
First term trustees are Claudia Adams, Newkirk Barnes, Catherine Bedenbaugh, Jane Crayton Davis, Jane Hottensen, Jim Kabel, Ed Mann, Peggy Thome and Rich Watson.