Greenwood Gardens Co-Founder Assumes New Role After 18 Years of Service

(above) Sofia A. Blanchard

Greenwood Gardens Co-Founder Assumes New Role

Greenwood Gardens

Sofia A. Blanchard, Co-Founder of Greenwood Gardens, the 28-acre historic garden located on Old Short Hills Road, was recently named Emeritus Trustee after retiring as a Trustee. Ms. Blanchard helped establish Greenwood Gardens as a non-profit public garden in 2003, along with her husband, Peter P. Blanchard III, and with guidance from The Garden Conservancy. The former estate and historic gardens are preserved and have been open to the public since 2013. 

A passionate advocate, dedicated fundraiser, and generous donor, Ms. Blanchard played critical roles during her 18-year tenure as Co-Founder. Before she retired from the Board of Trustees, she devoted tireless efforts to develop a vibrant community of Greenwood supporters. In the process, she was a driving force in the launch of the organization’s first long-term Strategic Plan, founded the first Development Committee, and funded the renovation of the 1950’s Main House kitchen. She was recently honored for her service at The Garden Luncheon at Greenwood which raised nearly $90,000 in revenue for the organization’s Grow Greenwood Fund.  

“Sofia’s incredible warmth, keen intelligence, and unwavering passion for moving Greenwood forward are undeniable,” said Abby O’Neill, Executive Director. “Along with the entire organization, I am grateful not only for her devotion to the gardens, but also for unwavering friendship and wise counsel.” 

Prior to co-founding Greenwood Gardens, Ms. Blanchard served as Executive Director of the Children’s Hope Foundation and Girls Inc. of New York City. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in social work from Fordham University in Manhattan. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Smith College and a master’s degree in international affairs from Columbia University. 


Greenwood Gardens is a peaceful haven graced by terraced gardens, stately fountains, woodlands, grottoes, Arts and Crafts follies, and winding paths. Supported by gifts, membership, and volunteers, its mission is connecting people with nature in a historic garden oasis. From May 1 through November 5, visitors can enjoy guided tours, concerts, workshops and more each week, Friday through Sunday, from 10:00 am to 5:00 p.m., with last entry at 3:30 p.m. Advance registration is required. For more information, visit or call 973-258-4026. Please follow us on Facebook @GreenwoodShortHills and Instagram @greenwoodgardensnj.