What Is the Malabar Farm Foundation?
Welcome to our home on the web. The Malabar Farm Foundation was founded in 1993, as a nonprofit 501(c)3 corporation, organized for the purpose of providing resources for the promotion of the principles and ideals of Louis Bromfield in the areas of sustainable agriculture, culture, literature, and the arts and/or the preservation of Malabar Farm and the legacy of Louis Bromfield. Since its founding the foundation has contributed over $2 million dollars to ODNR, Malabar Farm State Park.
Our connection and history with Malabar Farm State Park
In his book, “Pleasant Valley”, Louis Bromfield mentions his longing for the future fate of his Big House and lovely Malabar Farm when he wrote, “Perhaps one day it will belong to the state, together with the hills, valleys and woods of Malabar Farm.” Bromfield’s wish came true in August 1972, when the State of Ohio accepted the deed to Malabar Farm and pledged to preserve its beauty and ecological value for everyone to enjoy.
Earlier that year, Bromfield’s legacy to future generations came close to being extinguished. Malabar Farm (which was owned and operated by the Louis Bromfield Malabar Farm Foundation (from 1956-1972) was threatened with foreclosure. But the Noble Foundation, which held the mortgage, agreed to erase the debt and accrued interest (about $280,000) when the State of Ohio accepted Malabar Farm as a gift to the residents of Ohio.
From 1972 to 1976, Malabar Farm was operated jointly by Ohio’s Department of Natural Resources and Department of Agriculture. Then, in 1976, Malabar Farm became one of Ohio’s State Parks. As a state park, Malabar Farm is dedicated to perpetuating Bromfield’s farming philosophies, preserving the Big House and its many artifacts, and providing a place where visitors can explore life on a farm and the timeless beauty of nature.
In 1993, the new Malabar Farm Foundation ,Inc. was established as a community advisory board and a private non-profit foundation. Its purpose is to provide assistance to Malabar Farm State Park and the legacy of Louis Bromfield through its many donations, projects, fundraising, and grants. This all-volunteer board has contributed many hours and dedicated its talents to the success and preservation of Malabar Farm for future generations. Since its founding the foundation has contributed over $2 million dollars to Malabar Farm State Park.
In 2006, the foundation contributed $600,000 to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) toward the construction and completion of the $1.2 million dollar Malabar Farm Visitors Center and improvements, and over $200,000 toward solar and wind energy systems to operate the center in a green and sustainable way. Also, the development, construction and installation of the educational displays and exhibits in the center’s educational wing and the cataloging, cleaning and preservation of the Louis Bromfield Ecology Library collection housed in the center’s library.
The Foundation has expanded the administrative offices and a larger Gift Shop. The goal was to move park administration and the gift shop operations out of the historical Big House and combine those operations into a separate green and sustainable building open to the community. This paved the way toward preservation efforts to restore the Big House and its furnishings to the Bromfield era (1938-1956).
Since 2014, the Foundation has donated over $100,000 that has been spent or committed toward the preservation and restoration of artwork and furnishing in the Big House. We expect to continue with this support and preservation efforts into the future for others to experience and enjoy Malabar Farm and Louis Bromfield legacy.
The Malabar Farm Foundation provides resources for the promotion of the principles and ideals of Louis Bromfield in the areas of sustainable agriculture, culture, literature, and the arts and/or the preservation of Malabar Farm and the legacy of Louis Bromfield. Malabar Farm is always buzzing with Foundation members and volunteers through the many projects and events hosted throughout the year. Since its founding the foundation has contributed over $2 million dollars to Malabar Farm State Park. Some of the most noteworthy and ongoing projects include:
- Provided $600,000 for the design and construction of the Louis Bromfield Visitors Center completed in 2006
- Granted nearly $150,000 to design and produce educational exhibits for the Louis Bromfield Visitors Center -Education/Exhibit hall
- Funded dozens of internships for college students to work at Malabar Farm State Park
- Underwrote educational programs and materials reaching more than 11,000 students annually, including the School Days program as well as an Educational Guide for teachers and students
- Co-sponsored two award-winning documentaries: “The Man Who Had Everything” and “The View from Malabar.” Both were shown nationally on PBS Public Television networks.
- Financed the Louis Bromfield Bicentennial Historical Marker & Barn Painting
- Created and maintain the website: www.malabarfarm.org
- Purchased a new Tour Wagon that is completely accessible to visitors with disabilities
- Restored Louis Bromfield’s 1946 Willy’s Jeep to its original condition
- Restoration of the greenhouse across from the Big House
- Financially supported many capital improvements at Malabar Farm including:
- Purchase & installation of a sandstone sidewalk reaching the front door of the Big House
- Sandstone benches, front of Big House
- Installation of a drainage system in the front, rear, and garage side of the Big House
- New shutters on the Big House
- Construction and signage for the Wetlands Observatory Area
- Construction and operation of a songbird aviary
- Re-construction of bird aviary into a covered picnic shelter
- Livestock watering system in pastures and irrigation system for produce and flower gardens
- Fencing to prevent soil erosion and protected pastureland
- Construction of manure composting pad
- Installation of a climate control system in the archival area
- Construction of a stage in the Main Barn with upgraded electrical service to support plays and special events
- Interpretive signage around the park
- Ongoing restoration and conservation of many of Bromfield’s original paintings. artifacts, and structures, including the Big House
Community Outreach and Ways to Get Involved
Louis Bromfield Society
The Louis Bromfield Society is the membership program established to raise funds in support of this mission. Your membership dues help the Malabar Farm Foundation, an independent private, non-profit, 501c(3) organization, continue to make education, development, and preservation projects possible at Malabar Farm and the community .
All contributions are tax-deductible, as provided by law.
Member $50.00 / Friend $100.00
Your Donations to the Foundation have helped to fund many projects at Malabar Farm, including two nationally televised PBS documentaries, over $600,000 toward the construction of the Visitor / Education Center, funding for educational exhibits, house and artifact restoration, and the creation and maintenance of our website. www.malabarfarm.org. Since its founding the foundation has contributed over $2 million dollars to Malabar Farm State Park.
The Giving Tree
The Giving Tree Donor Recognition – As visitors enter the main lobby of the Louis Bromfield Visitor Education Center, they will see a beautiful bronze tree with leaves of bronze, silver, and gold surrounded by acorns and foundation stones. You can create a permanent memorial by recognizing someone on the Malabar Giving Tree. Each leaf and stone is engraved as specified by the donor. Other recognition requests are accepted, based on the donation amount. All donations are accepted at any amount.
- Supporter-$250-$499- A Bronze Leaf on the Malabar Giving Tree
- Sustainer-$500-$999- A Silver Leaf on the Malabar Giving Tree
- Donor-$1,000-$2,499- A Gold Leaf on the Malabar Giving Tree
- Sponsor-$2,500-$4.999- A Small (3″ x 5″) Foundation Stone under tree
- Patron-$5,000-$9.999- A Medium (4″ x 6.5″) Foundation Stone under tree
- Benefactor-$10,000-$24,999- A Large (4.5″ x 7.5″) Foundation Stone under tree
- Partner-$25,000 and above- An Acorn on the Malabar Giving Tree
Meet Our Board Members
The Foundation Board is made up of volunteers in many professional and special interest fields that would benefit the operation and business conducted by the foundation. Board members must be recommended and approved by the board and are elected to serve a three-year term.
The Foundation is incorporated as a private not-for-profit foundation by the State of Ohio and conducts its business under the current rules and laws governing such organizations. Annual audits of review are conducted in accordance with standard accounting practices by a private third-party accounting firm. Funds are held at local financial institutions including an endowment with the Richland County Community Foundation. Board meetings are held monthly on the second Thursday of each month, or as needed.
Foundation Board Officers (5)
President: Bob Huge ; Columbia Station
Vice President: Tom Bachelder ; Shiloh
Secretary: Jim Reed ; Lucas
Treasurer: Dave Crawford ; Lucas
At Large Executive ; Louis Andres, Lucas
Foundation Board Members (7)
Charlie Bauer, Jeromesville
Victoria Cochran, Lucas
David Culler, Lucas
Devon L. Hardwick, Delaware
Fred Malone, Marion
Chris McQuillen, Mansfield
Paul Sukys, Cleveland
Honorary Trustees (2)
Kenneth Geld; Sao Paolo Brazil, Ellen Bromfield Geld’s son
Melanie Read; Utah, Hope Bromfield Stevens’ daughter
Foundation Board Clerk
Roberta Moore; Mansfield
Emeritus Trustees (6)
Clive Edwards, Worthington
Dan Haeseker, Tavares, FL.
John Hildreth, Mansfield
Deborah Stinner, Smithville
Tim White, Lancaster
David Wiesenberg, Wooster