April 29, 2011
Marin County, California
Date Founded: 1931
In 1934 members of Marin GC, working with other community-centered groups, raised funds to purchase an 11-acre property and founded the Marin Art and Garden Center in Ross, CA. This property has become a community cultural center and includes Marin GC projects such as the Memory Garden and the Moya Library.
Four MGC members founded the Marin Conservation League in 1934 to consider the impact of the Golden Gate Bridge on undeveloped land north of San Francisco. Early action protected ridgelines and open spaces from suburban sprawl and set aside land on which to create parks and public beaches. Today the Conservation League remains a powerful force when considering land-use restrictions.
Two of Marin GC’s members worked closely with the Audubon Society in 1962 to save a large heronry on the West Coast and protect the area from commercial development. Other projects pursued in 1976 by MGC include working to halt the invasion of pampas grass and broom which threatened to replace all native plants along the roadside.
Today Marin GC raises money annually to support local non-profits and extend scholarship help to high school seniors seeking college studies in landscaping, horticulture, conservation and agriculture. Their gardens are sought after for public and private tours including the Garden Conservancy Open Days Tour. Members of Marin GC continue to support Bouquets to Art, a premier floral event raising funds to cover special exhibitions, acquisitions and educational programs at the San Francisco Fine Arts Museums.
The GCA now offers 27 merit based scholarships, fellowships and awards in the areas of horticulture and its related disciplines, botany, including medicinal and tropical, native bird habitat, conservation and ecological restoration, desert studies, landscape architecture, urban forestry, garden history and design, coastal wetlands, and pollinator research.
In March of this year, 86 students and scholars were awarded over $300,000 to support a variety of academic endeavors ranging from summer environmental study and field work, to graduate level research. Their study will take place in institutions across the nation and some will do field work around the world.
GCA Scholarships - supporting the best and brightest.
Nominations for the Montine McDaniel Freeman Horticulture Award will be accepted by the GCA Horticulture Committee between March 1st and Dec 1st for the following year.
Nominate a Plant - recognize a plant that is under-utilized but worthy of preservation, propagation and promotion.