The Garden as a Community

The garden is a great place to learn.  Of course you learn horticultural practices and plant names, but there are life lessons to be found amongst the oaks and salvia! 

For example,  The Marin Master Gardeners’ “Exploring Habitats” program works with schools to teach insect and animal  habitats and more. Taking inspiration from them, we have reached out in an effort to connect us to the  community around us and beyond.  Opportunities for engagement are everywhere and we’re finding them.

If you visit the gardens, there is a good chance you will meet our interns from Archie Williams and Redwood High Schools.  We are fortunate to have them on our campus to learn, contribute and inspire.  The intern program is emerging and we would like to grow it to further our connection to the school community.  Internships help students fulfill their required service hours, but it is beneficial to them and us.  They learn what it takes to maintain a public garden and see how the day-to-day operation works, and they help us complete tasks that range from design to irrigation to pruning. Learning works both ways, and I have learned from them as well.  Thanks to our Board’s support, we have been successful.

You may have seen the girl scouts around the gardens on other occasions.  Scout troops from Novato and Petaluma have come to our awesome little corner of Marin County to earn gardening badges.  It’s not as easy as it may sound because the girls actually have tasks to complete and then finish by growing a plant from seed.  Many did not know about Marin Art and Garden until their visit so it was great that they chose us to work on their badges. As I was a scout myself I am deeply honored to pay it back by supporting scouting. 

As we continue to develop community relationships I hope to always have learned something and imparted a lesson, whether as small as a salvia or as big as a valley oak.

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 to discuss your gift to Marin Art and Garden Center