Reflections on the Fountain Pond

The Fountain Pond at Marin Art and Garden Center has seen many celebrations through the years. It’s a popular spot for wedding ceremonies, a festive gathering spot at receptions, as well as a peaceful place to sit and just be, on any day.

The location of the pond is the site of the main house when these acres were the estate of the Worn, then Kittle families, whose home “Sunnyside” burned down in the early 20th century. In 1960, a small pond with a quatrefoil design was installed, with a Florentine fountain that had been donated to the Center. The Octagon House, now the Moya Library and home to the Ross Historical Society, was moved to its current location in 1969, and the larger reflecting pool designed by Richard Hein was constructed in 1976.

Over the past several months, our garden team has been working on clearing away some of the more overgrown beds around the pond. In particular, an unruly juniper bush was removed; juniper, with its high concentration of resins, is regarded as a “fire hazardous plant” that ignites easily and burns intensely, and we are replacing these types of plants throughout the grounds to reduce fire danger.

You may also notice that the water is a deeper, darker color these days; this is due to an environmentally safe coloring agent that makes the water more reflective, which helps reduce evaporation. Every drop counts in these dry times. The spray head for the fountain has also been replaced, thanks to a generous donation, and in addition to looking more elegant, the new finer spray allowed us to add water lilies to the pool. Not only will these plants add even more color, they too help shade the water and keep evaporation down.

So next time you pay us a visit, take a moment to enjoy this special spot.

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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