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South Coast Botanic Garden Hosts Groundbreaking Ceremony For its New 3.5-Acre Marilyn and John Long Children and Family Garden

LA County Supervisor Janice Hahn presents South Coast Botanic Garden’s Chief Executive Officer Adrienne Nakashima with a scroll at the Garden’s groundbreaking ceremony for its new 3.5-acre Marilyn and John Long Children and Family Garden. Photo by Chuck Bennett

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March 15, 2023

Palos Verdes Peninsula, Calif. – South Coast Botanic Garden hosted the official groundbreaking for its new 3.5-acre children and family garden, providing a first look at plans for this new multi-million dollar project and marking the kick-off to the Cultivate the Future campaign, the largest fundraising campaign in the Garden’s 62-year history. 

The ceremony was held Wednesday, March 15, and featured the Garden’s Chief Executive Officer Adrienne Nakashima announcing an extraordinary $3 million philanthropic gift from the Long Family Foundation – the largest private gift in the Garden’s history. Nakashima also announced the official name of the new area – the Marilyn and John Long Children and Family Garden – which will include a canopy walk over the Banyan Grove, a marine fossil dig, a plant maze, and more. The new space was designed by Russell Mills Studios and construction is being handled by Sperber. 

“This is a monumental moment in the Garden’s history for many reasons,” says Nakashima. “The Marilyn and John Long Children and Family Garden will bring a new dimension to South Coast Botanic Garden and will bring in families and visitors from throughout the L.A. area and beyond. The space will have features never before seen in children’s gardens, and we have the Long Family Foundation to thank for that, particularly Marilyn and John Long for their gracious support.” 

Marilyn and John Long are longtime Palos Verdes residents and Garden supporters, with Marilyn having served on the board since 2018.

“I am so excited that South Coast Botanic Garden is building a World Class 3.5 acre Children and Family Garden,” declared Marilyn Long.  “Children are curious spirits; they are our future.  This Garden will allow them to play outdoors, get their hands dirty, and stimulate their senses.  My family and I are proud to support the Garden’s continued success and thrilled for many generations to experience and enjoy this new amazing addition.”   

South Coast Botanic Garden has raised 95% of the funds necessary for this new space from a variety of public and private sources, including the Long Family Foundation’s gift. Now, the Garden is launching the Cultivate the Future campaign, a $16 million initiative in support of the Marilyn and John Long Children and Family Garden to help bridge the gap.

“While we’ve had many generous donations so far, we need additional support to ensure the Garden can continue to thrive for generations to come,” says Nakashima. “We are constantly striving to enhance our space with new collections and exhibits that will make South Coast Botanic Garden a landmark in California.” 

To learn more about the Cultivate the Future campaign and the Garden’s new children and family garden, see our new website here