High school interns making a difference

James, Daelan and Raymond take charge of the mulch.

Autumn is a time when our garden team tackles some of the larger projects around the grounds. As plants move into a more dormant phase, and (in a normal year) the outdoor event season winds down, fall is a good time to get important maintenance tasks underway.

This year has been especially productive with the help of three high school seniors, Daelan Boutwell, Raymond Hernandez, and James Worthington. All three are enrolled in the local high school’s Environmental and Social Justice Academy, which requires students to complete volunteer hours gaining skills in an area of interest. Our interns are all outdoor enthusiasts, and Garden Manager Steven Schwager saw a good fit for each of them to get some hands-on education in managing the grounds this season. Together with the students, he worked out a plan for them to focus on native plants and invasive species, maintaining fire-safe landscaping, and ensuring the health of our tree canopy, so they will gain practical knowledge in these areas.

You may have noticed that the planted beds surrounding the main entrance have been dramatically cleared away; this overgrown area was more than ready for an update to incorporate plants that are better suited to the conditions. The students made quick work of removing the old plants, and will have a chance to help implement the Horticultural Advisory Committee’s vision for new plantings in the coming months.

Another major project that has benefitted from their energies is the removal of layers and layers of weed cloth that had accumulated under the Magnolia Circle. While this material is a popular way to reduce ongoing weeding, when it is not properly maintained, soil can build up on top of the cloth and weeds can once again take root. When it rains, essential water and nutrients don’t pass through either. It is serious labor to remove the yards of cloth and the heavy buildup, we salute the team for their dedication!

If you know any teens who are interested in getting their hands dirty, we welcome new volunteers and are happy to assist in meeting volunteer requirements for schools or clubs. Fill out a volunteer application to learn more.

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