Oasis in the City: Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden
Founded 90 years ago, the Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden (“The Garden”) is one of the last remaining undeveloped pieces of land in Westwood, Los Angeles. Its 7.5 acres represent an increasingly rare natural area and oasis away from city life.
Today, it is more important than ever to protect and maintain The Garden as a place of tranquility and as a place to get away from modern life. Through its unique reserve of thick tree canopy, plant habitats, and global biodiversity, The Garden serves as a sanctuary, an outdoor classroom, a research facility, and much more.
By supporting this campaign, you will be enabling The Garden to exist for generations to come. A gift of any amount would help offset the costs for the much needed equipment, trees, plants, and volunteer trainings.
The Garden serves as a ‘living museum’ not just for the UCLA community but also for West Los Angelenos, K-12 students, hospital patients, and international tourists.
Admission is always free. Despite historically limited funding for maintenance and infrastructure, a small group of dedicated faculty, staff, and volunteer gardeners has kept The Garden growing. However, as interest in West LA’s greenest space continues to rise, so do the costs and needs of the garden – which is why we’re turning to you!
Join our crowdfunding campaign to support The Garden and the volunteers who are essential to its operation.
About the Campaign
Staff of The Garden strive to create a community of people who love plants and gardening - and volunteers, who give a minimum of 4 hours a week, are the core of this community. Volunteers, who work alongside professional staff, participate in a variety of activities including pruning, raking, weeding, watering, planting and propagating.
We hope to raise $12,500 to cover the cost of gardening or safety materials for our volunteers and the construction of places to store them, as well as rare plants for existing garden areas.
The items we’re seeking will house natural materials, safety gear, and offer multiple opportunities for our volunteers to make our garden even better. With these additions to our currently very small collection of tools and equipment, you will allow volunteer gardeners to learn while they work and safely focus on caring for this unique campus space.
Donations will be put to use immediately, and can provide support in the form of:
Please contribute whatever you can to support The Garden! Donations of all sizes add up to pay for actual items, and will ultimately help preserve and expand this special place for visitors of all ages to bring nature into their lives.
Simply donate $1 or more to our campaign before January 1st, 2020.
For a limited time, donating through this Spark crowdfunding campaign offers you the chance to be eligible for exclusive perks and experiences.
History & Mission
The Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden seeks to promote botanical knowledge and appreciation of nature to the UCLA community and public at large. Its diverse plant collections are designed to assist the teaching and research missions at UCLA while creating a tranquil environment within the urban surroundings. The Garden acts as a gathering place for a wide variety of groups and through its own events promotes plant conservation, botanical research, and horticulture.
The Garden is located in the last remnant of an arroyo that ran through the campus prior to its development. Over the last 88 years, an extensive collection of over 3,000 unique and diverse species of rare and unusual plants have been collected, conserved, curated, and studied on the site.
Mildred E. Mathias
Mildred Esther Mathias was born on September 19, 1906, in Sappington, Missouri. Mildred attended Washington University where she earned an A.B. ‘26, M.A. ‘27, and Ph.D ’29 in Botany. Holding a staff and faculty position at UCLA, Mildred was able to use her talents to teach regarding plant taxonomy, the importance of correct scientific identification, and nomenclature of horticultural materials. In 1956, Mildred was appointed Director of the Botanical Garden where she served until she retired in 1974. Since her early research days, Mildred Mathias appreciated natural areas in California, and that interest grew at UCLA. She fought and worked diligently to establish the UC Natural Land and Water Reserves System, now called the Natural Reserve System, whereby important parcels of undisturbed California habitats could be acquired and managed by UC for university teaching and research. UCLA Life Sciences dedicated the Botanical Garden to Mildred E. Mathias as she was much loved for her outstanding work at the University which includes 7.5 acres of biodiversity—the last open green space on campus and a living laboratory for botanical exploration.
On behalf of all of us at the UCLA Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden and the Los Angeles community who will benefit from your generous support, THANK YOU!
of Thanking You
Your gift of $7 can provide a volunteer with new gardening gloves. Thank you so much for your donation.
Your donation diversifies our Garden! With your gift we can source and propagate on rare specimen for the Living Collection. Please enjoy Garden Membership, a tote bag, and an invitation to our member's only summer event. (tax deductible donation of $90)
Because of your gift we can take our hardworking volunteers on a weekend field trip to share Southern California's botanical riches with them. Your generosity deserves some serious perks. You'll receive a Botanist Tour of the garden with a grad student and all previously mentioned perks. (tax deductible donation of $370)
Help us expand our Desert Collection with a new meduim sized rare specimen from a peer Botanical Garden. Please enjoy Honorary Volunteer status, an invite to our holiday party and all previously mentioned perks for your generosity. (tax deductible gift of $585)
Our volunteer break area could use some sprucing up. A gift at this level will help us purchase new outdoor furniture for the area. To say thank you we'll invite you to a small group public Sunset Access & Wine Tour and give you all aforementioned perks. (tax deductible donation of $1,153)
Transplant a large specimen from a peer Botanical Garden to our Desert Collection with you gift of $3,000. In turn, come and sip wine at sunset with 7 of your friends on a Sunset Access Wine Tour! All previously mentioned perks are also included. (tax deductible gift of $2,857)
A gift at this level allows the Garden to provide a brand new shed to hold volunteer tools and belongings. Your investment gets you a day of exploring the beauty and botanical diversity of Southern California's wildlands with senior staff. We'll also offer you all our previously mentioned perks. (tax deductible donation of $4,857)