Mindy Green Spotlight

“My students loved everything about the trip. They were a hundred percent engaged the entire time.”

Education is a cornerstone of Marin Art and Garden Center, and when opportunities arise to collaborate with Marin County schools in an effort to give students more exposure to the natural world, the results are astounding. Mindy Green is a teacher at Laurel Dell Elementary in San Rafael—a school that values equity, community, and joy. When Ned Purdom contacted Superintendent Hogeboom and asked if there were two second grade classrooms that would like to visit Marin Art and Garden Center under the Everybody Grows Fund, Mindy jumped at the chance to bring her class to the special place she has always loved. 

“I have been teaching in San Rafael for 28 years,” Mindy says. “I usually take my class on walking field trips, as the buses are very expensive. When I add that to the price of admission to places, it becomes too expensive for my students and their families.” 

Thankfully, Marin Art and Garden Center has no admission fee, so it’s the ideal place for any teacher to bring their class for exploration, learning, and fun. “One of the science units I teach in second grade is ecosystems and plants,” Mindy describes. “We explore what plants need to grow and how they disperse seeds. We also look at how animals help with seed dispersal. This field trip was perfect for this unit.”

As a parent raising two kids in Marin, Mindy has visited the garden with her family several times and attended a variety of events over the years. Her fondness for and familiarity with the property proved valuable when it came time to bring her class, as she was able to work alongside Marin Art and Garden Center staff to provide an all-inclusive and fulfilling agenda. 

“The field trip with the six rotations with docents was amazing,” she recalls. “The kids learned so much while doing different hands-on activities. The pond experiment was the biggest hit. They also really enjoyed searching through the compost.”

Although Mindy already knew an extensive amount about the property’s vast assortment of flowers, iconic trees, water features, historic buildings, and artwork, there was still more for her to learn on the field trip with her class, as well. “I had no idea about the beehives or the incredible woven baskets,” she says. “My students loved everything about the trip. They were a hundred percent engaged the entire time.” 

In addition to the knowledge learned and adventure experienced by Mindy and her class, they also forged special bonds with Marin Art and Garden Center staff.  “We enjoyed everyone we interacted with there,” she expresses. “The staff is very child focused. We loved how friendly everyone was and how beautiful the grounds were. The Garden Manager even did an impromptu walk to the beehives with us—he was so friendly. He entertained 24 eight-year-olds very well.” 

As Marin Art and Garden Center continues to welcome people of all ages, it brings an extra amount of joy to the garden’s staff to see the smiling faces of children from throughout the county when they explore the property. “The garden is a wonderful place to take a class,” Mindy says, and that is all the motivation Marin Art and Garden Center needs to keep providing memorable experiences for all.

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