A Deeper Focus


Western Hills Garden joins Ecologistics

In October this year the Ecologistics board welcomed a new fiscally-sponsored organization, Western Hills Garden.  Situated on Coastal Miwok land, Western Hills Garden is a three-acre property in Occidental, California (Western Sonoma County) with a critically important collection of rare plants and trees from around the world.  The Garden has a very interesting history.  It was transformed from pastureland and redwoods into an incredible example of cultivated biodiversity by Lester Hawkins and Marshall Olbrich, two San Francisco radical bohemians, who, despite little relevant skills or knowledge, decided to move to the country to build a homestead in the late 1950s. Over their 30+ year tenure they became experts in garden design and botany and inspired new ways of thinking about horticulture on the West Coast. The next two owners (Maggie Wych – owner for 17 years, and Chris and Tim Szybalski – owner for 11 years) steered the property forward making critical improvements that extended the property’s legacy. In September 2021, Hadley Dynak and Kent Strader purchased the garden with the intention to run it as a nonprofit. Their strategic goals are to preserve the collection, increase the public’s access, and create unique onsite experiences to connect people, plants, and place through programming and partnerships.

You can learn more about the garden and/or make a tax-deductible donation here:  https://www.westernhillsgarden.com/

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