Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens : Volunteer Newsletter
Volume 1  |  Number 1
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Volume 1  |  Number 1

Dear volunteers and supporters of MCBG,

Volunteers at Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens are the lifeblood of this organization. This newsletter will be the go-to source for volunteer information, updates from around the Gardens, musings (see below to share your own), and details on the outcomes/results of all of your hard work. It truly takes each and every one of you to maintain our garden by the sea.

Please share this inaugural newsletter—The Volunteer Herald—with anyone who may be interested in joining the MCBG volunteer family!

SPOTLIGHT on greatness

Thank you, congratulations!

Jane Person has reached 500 + hours of recorded volunteer time, receiving her glittering golden name tag and Lifetime Membership to the Gardens just last month.

Helper Highlights

  • The Festival of Lights Gala went off without a hitch thanks to countless hours of work by Gala team leader, Linda Brown. Her 337 hours of volunteered time created a lovely atmosphere for the celebration.
  • The Festival of Lights design team created a stunning array of lighted displays, a few new features, and some old favorites. This year's design team—including but not limited to Hilary Eddy, Pat Zlatunich, Steve Zlatunich, and Jolene Kriett—received glowing reviews.
  • The parking crew helped over 7,000 visitors find their way to the 2015 Festival of Lights. Buck Clark, Dan Raymond, Peter Olson, Gary Lembach, and many others made order out of almost certain chaos.
  • Friends of the Gardens Board Members, Kittie Meredith and Sheelah Meyer,  coordinated and ran (every evening) the FOG Sweet Treats Café.


HONORING a great man

Contributed by MCBG Gardener/Naturalist, Mario Abreu

Carl planting Irises along the Gardens Entrance Pond.

Carl Juenke, Master Gardener, volunteer gardener at the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens, and member since 2012, has recently passed away. Carl had a passion for Dahlias and plant propagation.

Carl is in my heart and mind in a place that holds the many great and amusing times we shared side by side at the Gardens, and at the Motley Crew gatherings. Sigh. I'll miss him.
~ M. Abreu


Carl standing tall (back left) amongst Mario Abreu's "Motley Crew" volunteer team.

MUSINGS from the garden

Written by:  ?

We would love to hear from you... Submit your MCBG or botanically relevant short stories, poems, prose, humorous fiction or non-fiction to be included in an upcoming edition of The Volunteer Herald

For some inspiration a little laugh: 
THE NEW YORKER—Shouts & Murmurs


Class of 2016!

VOLUNTEER calendar



Special Events and Happenings

NEW!  Monthly Volunteer Days
Each month an important section of the Gardens will be designated for a "Volunteer Day" led by an expert gardener. The first of these will be held on February 1st—Weeds and T's—in the North Forest. Learn, help, and have fun with fellow plant enthusiasts.

Weeds and T's
Mon, February 1st – 9:30 am to 12:30pm
Calling all volunteers... weeding in the Conifer Garden followed by Tea, tasty Treats, and a free ticket to the Gardens!

Future Volunteer Day projects to be announced.


Ongoing Opportunities


Daily :: Garden Store, Nursery and Propagation Helpers, deadheading Rhododendrons, Camellia bloom clean-up

Monday :: Vegetable Garden
Tuesday :: Begonia processing, Heritage Rose Garden, Perennial Garden, Heath and Heather care beginning in March!
Wednesday :: Restoration/Reforestation, Native Plant Garden, Begonia processing
Thursday :: Dahlia Garden works starts back up in February!
Saturday :: Vegetable Garden
Variable :: Docents, Bulk Mailings, Construction Projects, Office Help, Library


Visit our website for more detail on the various volunteer opportunities.

"Daffodils remind us that there is hope."

See the delicate beauties in bloom now at the Gardens!


Our most joyful and triumphant year yet!

Attendance for opening weekend of the 2015 Festival of Lights just about doubled from last year. Approximately 2,400 candy canes were handed out with care to each visitor in the first three days alone. Altogether, the four weekends of festivities saw over 7,000 smiling faces in attendance. There was entertainment galore with ten musical acts, one jolly Santa Claus, one face painting pro, and of course a garden filled with glittering lights and inventive displays. Generous volunteers from Friends of the Gardens baked goodies for the Holiday Sweets Café—a great big thank you to the purveyors of fine spiced cider, hot cocoa, and cookies of all kinds. North Coast Brewing Company and some of the best local wineries kept the bar stocked. Rhody's served 3-Bean Chili in the big tent, offering visitors and volunteers a delicious way to warm up on those cool evenings. Media Sponsors, KOZT The Coast FM helped spread the news of this wonderful benefit event both near and far. Team Blue 4 of AmeriCorps NCCC Pacific Region helped decrease decoration time from a couple of weeks to a few days as part of their 2,000 hours of donated time. Students from the FBHS Interact Club lent a hand on several nights of the Festival. Needless-to-say, this year's event was an immense success and would not have been possible without the help of 192 volunteer-filled positions and all of our generous sponsors.

The 2015 Festival of Lights Gala was a grand slam as well! More than 100 people filled the beautifully decorated tent for the grand event, raising funds to allow 1,700 children to attend this year's Festival of Lights. The Gala delighted guests with music by The Mendocino String Quartet, a truly remarkable holiday feast, champagne, a selection of Mendocino County's finest wine, local brews, fireworks (despite the rain), prizes, and more... it really was a great party!

THANK YOU to all of our dedicated volunteers—all of the ticket takers, greeters, spotters, floaters, bartenders, food helpers, parking attendants, store helpers, marshmallow stabbers, and of course all those who helped string the lights with cheer and then pack them away again… until next year!


The air is fresh with the promise of brilliant blooms to come.

Contributed by MCBG Lead Gardener, Margaret Koski-Kent

Typically most people visit our gardens in the late spring, in summer when they have vacations and the weather is warmer. However, a stormy day by the coast is often preceded by a beautiful clear and fresh day... the perfect time to experience the winter and early spring blooms of Hellebores, Camellias, Magnolias, and Rhododendrons

The majestic Magnolia 'Vulcan' is in bloom on the right side of the front driveway. A smelling Chinese Magnolia has brilliant blooms cascading over the freshwater marsh along the South Trail. Several gorgeous Hellebores 'Boughton Beauty' can be found in the Perennial Garden.  

Map of the Gardens

Pictured above:
Magnolia doltsopa 'Chinese Magnolia'
Rhododendron spinuleferum
Camellia grijsii

Hellebores argutifolius 'Boughton Beauty'

F O L L O W on F A C E B O O K
V I S I T our W E B S I T E
Copyright © 2016 Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens, All rights reserved.

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