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Volunteers Make the World & The Highlands a Beautiful Place

Caring for a 40-acre 226 year-old estate with a manicured garden is no easy task. Ask anyone who has spent time, effort, and money caring for their own garden. The resilience of weeds, extreme weather, and invasive insects are often enemies that horticulturalists must reckon with. Gardens require a recipe of undivided attention, the right nutrients, and TLC!

On the evening of May 11th, a dedicated group of volunteers gathered at The Highlands to assist staff in planting specially selected plants for the Garden that Caroline Sinkler envisioned 100 years ago. Devoted neighbors, board members, nature lovers, and a future Highlands Bride and Groom reached out with helping hands to share their precious time on a fun interactive evening. New friendships were made, pizza was shared, conversations were had, and fresh air was enjoyed by all. In addition to the wonderful exchange of camaraderie and satisfaction that comes with seeing the fruits of your labor come together, another love was shared—a deep passion for The Highlands.

Garden volunteers are needed throughout the summer. If you are interested in volunteering in our gardens, please contact Tiffany Stahl. We would love to have you!

Thank you to all Highlands Volunteers! We appreciate you!

Photos Courtesy of Aubrey Abel Photography


Highlands Birding Alert

It is a privilege to work at The Highlands for a multitude of reasons. When inside the mansion, the seasonal views through the symmetrically aligned French windowpanes are glorious. The green visions are elevated to even greater heights when surrounded by the willows, peony, iris, and boxwood in the gardens. Earlier in May, during the height of spring migration, a pair of Baltimore orioles, Icterus galbula, were exploring the blooming wisteria gleaning for insects by the icehouse. Although these spectacular beauties have a conservation status of low concern, they are not always easy to find, especially for an amateur birder like me. However, if you are lucky enough to get a glimpse of these striking orange and black beauties, they are sure to take your breath away.

Photo Courtesy of Stephanie Smith

In the lower meadow, I also enjoyed watching the nimble antics of the Eastern Kingbirds, Tyrannus tyrannus, hawking for protein packed insects in the tall grasses. These sleek flycatchers are known to aggressively defend their territories by raising a concealed crest of orange, red, or yellow on their heads. Eastern Kingbirds are also famous for dive-bombing avian intruders that pose a threat to their young. Avian diversity is in full bloom at The Highlands. The next time you take a relaxing stroll through the estate, remember bring binoculars. And keep looking up!


Adopt a Partarre Garden Pledge

The Highlands is dedicated to ensuring that Caroline Sinkler's passion for landscape design lives on in our gardens today. Parterre, from the French meaning ‘on the ground’, are garden parcels with distinctive borders of cobble stones, bricks, or flagstones. Caroline Sinkler's Parterre Gardens were filled with scented and edible plants that she often used to make special herbal teas. To assist our restoration efforts in caring for our gardens and grounds, we are launching a Parterre Square Pledge 2022. For a contribution of $100, donors may adopt a parterre square at The Highlands. Adoptees will receive a 2" x 3.5" aluminum plant stake sign with their family name to be placed in an assigned parterre square. Families will have the opportunity to select three plants from a curated list to add to their square. Family Parterre signs will remain in the garden through the end of the 2022 growing season with the opportunity for renewal in 2023.

Although not required, we encourage our adopters to make the process a family affair, and assist with the maintenance of their garden square (primarily weeding and watering) throughout the summer. If you are interested in adopting a square, please contact Tiffany Stahl. Thank you for helping us keep The Highlands beautiful!


Events at The Highlands

Mark your Calendars!

Summer Symphony in the Garden

Tuesday, June 14, 022 | 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM EDT

RSVP: Eventbrite

Quartet Salonnières perform Mozart, Richter & Haydn celebrating the dawn of the String Quartet. This program blends the heritage of The Highlands with music that was in its first generation when the mansion was built. This program is free with RSVP. Donations are welcomed at the event. Each dollar supports the talented musicians, while ensuring that free music experiences continue for the community.

Mask Guidance: We will respectfully be asking the audience to wear masks. Thank you for your consideration.

Nocturnal Friends Night

Wednesday, July 13, 2022 | 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM EDT

Cost: $10.00 (per family)

Join us for an evening of summer fun, crafts, and exploration of night time critters. Special animal guests will make a guest appearance courtesy of our friends from Briar Bush Nature Center.

Please bring a flashlight and a sense of wonder!

Story time Tuesdays

Each Tuesday, June & July | 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM EDT

Join us one and all for story time in the Highlands Gardens. Flyleaf the Book Fairy leads our fun and interactive themed readings each week. All are welcomed!

Coming Soon!

Stay tuned for more dates and details regarding Fall events including the much anticipated The Fairy Festival & Highlands Pumpkin Festival.


Wedding season is in full swing at The Highlands. As a premier wedding destination for couples near and far, our calendar is booked with beautiful wedding ceremonies and receptions throughout summer and fall. These special events provide crucial revenue that support the infrastructure of the Highlands Historical Society. While we do our very best accommodate visitors who want to explore the grounds of The Highlands throughout the year, when a wedding or family celeb ration is reserved on the property the estate will be closed to ensure that event guests have a unforgettable experiences. If you are recently engaged, or interested in reserving The Highlands for events in 2023, please email Dana Dorsey,


Please consider donating to The Highlands Historical Society. Your generosity and support will help us continue our mission to preserve The Highlands Mansion & Garden.

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