Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens, 47 acres of botanical bliss fronting the Pacific Ocean

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Conservation Programs

Plant and natural area conservation is a cornerstone value of our organization. As a botanical garden, our plant collections represent the assets most revered by all Gardens stakeholders. These assets are protected through our conservation efforts. Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens safeguards and nurtures plants that are rare, endangered, native to the Mendocino coast or suited to the coastal northern California climate. An integral aspect of our operations is our continued leadership in providing a working model for ecologically sound practices in an environmentally unstable world. By demonstrating conservation and restoration practices in our natural areas, Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens increases local biodiversity and ensures natural landscapes survive for generations.

Best Practices

The 47-acres at Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens are host to numerous working ecological systems. Some of these systems, such as the fungi decomposers and water-producing streams, were operating eons before we sowed our first seed. Other natural systems have been restored to their natural capacity thanks to remediation efforts through the years.

The Gardens continues to build ecological best practices into our operations, and our conservation programs showcase those efforts. Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens' unique geography combines the beauty of cultivated and managed gardens with the natural landscapes of our coastal region.


Whether it is an endangered big-leaf rhododendron from the Himalayas or the native Mendocino coast Indian Paintbrush, the first step in plant conservation is plant records and accession. Having a detailed record of a plant's origin, habitat, and cultivation requirements is essential in maintaining the species' population. Modern plant record-keeping techniques build on a worldwide network of botanical gardens that safeguard our planet's plant and fungi species.

Natural Areas

The natural areas of Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens constitute a vital component of our conservation practices. The Gardens represents a distinct conservation opportunity for plants suited to the Mediterranean climates of the oceanic eco-niche of northern California. Particular plant species thrive in this zone and it is part of our mission to conserve these specimens.

These areas play host to marine zones, coastal bluffs, riparian zones, fresh emergent wetland, annual grassland, coastal scrub, and closed-cone pine forests. Beginning in 2000, Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens started work on protecting and enhancing the entire Fern Canyon Creek corridor west of Highway 1.

Fern Canyon Creek has a drainage area of about 775 acres and provides important wildlife habitats. It is currently the Gardens' only source of irrigation water. As a non-profit public garden, we must continue to develop our role as a regional resource for conservation practices. By reaching beyond our property boundaries, we maximize the benefit of those practices. The Gardens is currently working on updating our water systems and becoming a regional model for water conserving practices.


Making partnerships with other state agencies, non-profits, and other organizations expands the reach of our collective efforts and strengthens our conservation abilities. Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens has been propagating native plants for state agencies CALTRANS and California State Parks for use in mitigation projects throughout California's north coast. These projects entail collecting, processing, and growing native plant materials associated with the vegetation types used in specific project areas. Native plant repopulation projects allow us to provide our botanical expertise to the community and strengthen our ties to local community organizations. 

Donations Further Our Goals

We consider all donations to the Gardens an opportunity to extend our reach in fostering a larger community of gardeners, conservationists, nature-lovers, botanists, artists, students and those who wish to be inspired, in addition to helping further our overarching conservation projects. In turn, this leads to successful outcomes in accomplishing our mission and furthering our core values of community, relationships, conservation, excellence, fiscal stewardship, integrity, and sustainability. Donate now