The official groundbreaking for the 3.5-acre children’s and family garden at South Coast Botanic Garden served as both a sneak peek at the designs for this new multi-million dollar project and the beginning of the Cultivate the Future campaign, the largest fundraising effort in the Garden’s 62-year history.
Adrienne Nakashima, the Garden’s Chief Executive Officer, announced the unprecedented $3 million charitable donation from the Long Family Foundation, the biggest private gift in the Garden’s history, during the event on March 15. The Marilyn and John Long Children and Family Garden, which will feature a canopy walk above the Banyan Grove, a marine fossil dig, a plant maze, and more, has also been given its official name by Nakashima. Russell Mills Studios designed the additional area, and Sperber is in charge of the building.
“This is a monumental moment in the Garden’s history for many reasons,” says Nakashima. “The Marilyn and John Long Children and Family Garden will bring a new dimension to South Coast Botanic Garden and will bring in families and visitors from throughout the L.A. area and beyond. The space will have features never before seen in children’s gardens, and we have the Long Family Foundation to thank for that, particularly Marilyn and John Long for their gracious support.”
Longtime residents of Palos Verdes, Marilyn and John Long are supporters of the Garden; Marilyn has been on the board since 2018.
“I am so excited that South Coast Botanic Garden is building a World Class 3.5 acre Children and Family Garden,” declared Marilyn Long. “Children are curious spirits; they are our future. This Garden will allow them to play outdoors, get their hands dirty, and stimulate their senses. My family and I are proud to support the Garden’s continued success and thrilled for many generations to experience and enjoy this new amazing addition.”
The Long Family Foundation’s donation is one of several public and private sources that South Coast Botanic Garden has used to generate 95% of the money required for this new area. In an effort to close the gap, the Garden is now announcing the Grow the Future campaign, a $16 million endeavor in support of the Marilyn and John Long Children and Family Garden.
“While we’ve had many generous donations so far, we need additional support to ensure the Garden can continue to thrive for generations to come,” says Nakashima. “We are constantly striving to enhance our space with new collections and exhibits that will make South Coast Botanic Garden a landmark in California.”
To learn more about the Cultivate the Future campaign and the Garden’s new children and family garden, visit the new website here.
About South Coast Botanic Garden
Located on 87 acres of lush land on the Palos Verdes Peninsula, South Coast Botanic Garden is Southern California’s leading public outdoor space with more than 2,500 different species of plants and dozens of species of wildlife. The Garden’s mission is to serve the community by providing a unique horticultural and wildlife habitat experience, and to represent a model of excellence for land reclamation and sustainability. South Coast Botanic Garden is a public garden co-operated between the South Coast Botanic Garden Foundation and the County of Los Angeles, Department of Parks and Recreation. For more information, please visit southcoastbotanicgarden.org.