Electrifying developments in the gardens

It’s a lot of work keeping the 11 acres of grounds here looking trim and healthy. This August, unusual thunderstorms brought down a couple of big limbs from one of the oaks that shelter the office courtyard. We were all grateful that no one was injured and nothing was seriously damaged when these massive branches hit the ground, but it was still quite a project to cut and haul away the dead wood.

A chainsaw makes quick work of  task like this. Not everyone is a fan of power tools, but when there is major work to be done, a certain amount of horsepower can make a real difference. 

With limited staff, we need to use our time efficiently. Leaf blowers may be an annoyance, but less so than slipping on a pile of rotting leaves. This September, as our own staff takes over more of the routine maintenance jobs from a contractor, we also are taking the extra step of buying a suite of electric yard tools.

Our new cordless blower, hedge trimmer, string trimmer (weed whacker), and chainsaw are all powered by long lasting and faster-charging lithium-ion batteries. Ours recharge to full capacity in an hour and have several modes to extend how long we can work on a single charge. Becuse they’re lighter and more compact, they’re also easier to use.

The electrical systems require minimal maintenance compared to gas-powered equipment, which is important when we’re managing grounds care with our small team. And you’ll be pleased to learn these electrical tools will reduce emissions from the fuel-powered tools, and are quieter as well.

If caring for your own garden includes using power tools, you may also want to consider electric models. The purchase price is not necessarily higher than their fuel-powered counterparts, and the overall cost to operate them is generally lower. Electric models are lighter and often easier to start than gas powered tools as well. When you’re shopping  for these tools, just be sure that they come with a battery and charger, and if you are looking at getting multiple tools, the batteries may be interchangeable if you buy ones made by the same manufacturer.

More to explore

IRS Guidelines for Gifts from Donor Advised Funds to Support MAGC Events

Thank you for your interest in giving to the Marin Art & Garden Center events from your Donor Advised Fund (DAF) or Family Foundation.

We sincerely appreciate your generosity and support!

To ensure your gift follows the current IRS guidelines for DAF/Family Foundation support of an event, we would like to share the below guidelines with you.

  • Raffle tickets, tickets to galas and other special events, auction items, and benefits conferred in connection with a DAF/foundation grant are not permitted.
    • IRS has specifically ruled that fair market value associated with fundraising events cannot be separated, a practice known as “bifurcation.”
      • For example, with Edible Garden, if the price of the ticket is $200 and the FMV fair market value (non-tax-deductible amount) is designated to be $50, the donor must pay from sources other than her DAF/foundation for the full value of the ticket ($200) and not just for the non-tax-deductible amount ($50).
    • We recommend you confer with your financial advisor to confirm if any of these examples of how donors may still use their DAF to support an event would work for you:
      • A donor could sponsor the event, and not attend, and pay fully out of the DAF/foundation.
      • A donor could sponsor the event using DAF/foundation funds and attend by purchasing an individual ticket through non-DAF/foundation funds.
      • A donor could sponsor the event, join the event as a guest of another donor/table guest, and pay fully out of the DAF/foundation.
      • A donor could sponsor the event and host the afforded number of people at their chosen level as long as they pay for the seats at the lowest ticket price ($200 for Edible Garden) outside of their DAF.
        • As an example, a $1,500 sponsor that covers 2 guests, could pay for their sponsorship with $400 from a different source of funds, and then give an additional gift of $1,100 out of their DAF.


Please email Tod Thorpe, Director of Development at tod.thorpe@maringarden.org to discuss your gift to Marin Art and Garden Center