News & Events - Written by on Monday, January 7, 2013 22:27 - 8 Comments

The Green Heart of Oakland for Fifty Years

Discover a Hidden Jewel in the City of Oakland, California

The Gardens at Lake Merritt, a seven-acre collection of themed gardens, is conveniently located in the heart of Oakland at Lakeside Park, our nation’s first wildlife refuge.

Established more than a half century ago, the Gardens serve as a source of great regional pride, a cultural and educational center and a place to enjoy tranquility in the heart of the city. The Gardens are poised to serve as an example of the highest standards of horticulture and historic preservation, while providing enriching public programs.

A Garden Is a Reflection of Its Community

The Gardens are a collection of small themed gardens requiring varying levels of upkeep. Volunteers provide much needed maintenance assistance as the City of Oakland’s gardening staff has been dramatically reduced over time.

With your involvement and support, the Gardens will represent the best of who we are.

You are enthusiastically invited to join the Gardens’ volunteer work party days and/or support the Gardens through a donation; both are critical to preserving this community asset.

Friends of the Gardens at Lake Merritt

The Friends of the Gardens at Lake Merritt (FGLM) was formed in 2004. In partnership with the City of Oakland, FGLM supports garden revitalization through volunteerism, funding and special projects; ensuring these gardens remain a vibrant, relevant part of urban life.

You can see the results of FGLM volunteer efforts in the new Mediterranean and Sensory Gardens, along with  growing participation and sponsorship of educational and festive public events.

Please join us by sharing the vision, volunteering in the Gardens and/or making a donation.





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Deedra Aro
Nov 14, 2009 9:54

I’d like to know about your volunteer opportunities, please. I live near the garden and think they are a wonderful asset to the city. I’m not very knowledgeable when it comes to gardening but I’m willing to help however I can. Thanks!


Nov 30, 2009 19:38

Hi Deedra,

In the navigation at the top of the site (red links) there is a volunteer link where you can submit your information for volunteer opportunity’s. Additionally, if you have a facebook account you can become a fan of the gardens at lake merritt where you can get information about volunteering and other garden activity’s.

Nov 19, 2010 10:57

I live in a Retirement Community not far from the gardens. Although I am ‘mobility challenged’, I often ride my scooter there and take lots of photos which I then assemble into movielettes with soothing music and share with my community as “Nature Meditations” once a month.

In the last one, I felt compelled to add that the gardens are maintained only by volunteers and I was proud to share that no pesticides or herbicides had been used!

Each time I am there, I comment to s’1 that “This is such an under-utilized/appreciated Jewel in Our City!!!”

Jst b4 this last show, as I was cruisin’ for relaxation and rejuvination, I happened upon a “new” scene which I gladly captured! If I could attach it here I would!!!

These gardens and Morcom have been the key to my sanity during the past 6 years of having to live in Oakland!

Thank You for all that U have done!

Although physically I am significantly limited in what I can offer, I would be delighted to share some of my photos/movielettes IF that could be of service! I have many on DVDs.

Sincerely, Iadora

Nov 29, 2010 12:56

I would very much like to see your movielettes!

Georgina Castillo
Dec 1, 2010 9:46

Warm greetings of peace!

I am very proud of the gardens and I gladly invite everyone to view my website which contains pictures of many flowers mostlly taken from the gardens of Lake Merritt, some were taken at Golden Gate Park, and at Shoreline Beach in Alameda , all these pictures in my greeting cards are FREE FREE FREE for the whole world to enjoy!

All local flowers, mostly Oakland Flowers

please visit ……..

I hope you enjoy the show :-)

robert malloy
Mar 15, 2012 15:51

Hello, I’m moving to the area late April and would like to get involved. I’m an avid plant lover and have to leave my plants behind as California law does not allow plants to be transferred from Michigan. Robert here.

Mar 16, 2012 23:17

Hi Robert, welcome to the area and we look forward to your involvement in the Gardens. Please stop by the Gardens any first or third Saturday of the month 9:00-12:00 and join the fun!

Peter Bowyer
Sep 13, 2013 12:48

You are invited to an aesthetic pruning service-learning event at the Fukuoka Sister City Garden (a.k.a. Torii Gate) at the Gardens at Lake Merritt, Lakeside Park, Oakland CA, on Saturday September 28th, from 10 AM – 4 PM. Lead instructor Peter Thomas Bowyer is an APA Certified Aesthetic Pruner, desigenr and builder of the oakland-Fukuoka gardens in Oakland and Japan, and has be pruning in this park with volunteers for 20 years.

Suggested preparation: Bypass pruning shears and gloves a must. A small pruning saw, a tarp, a rake, a tripod orchard ladder will also improve your experience. Reply confirming attandance appreciated. On-site waiver/release of liability required for participation.

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The Green Heart of Oakland for Fifty Years

Discover the hidden garden jewel on the shores of Lake Merritt in the city of Oakland. We are a seven-acre collection of themed gardens.

The Gardens are open daily:
9am - 5:30pm
Entry is free!

666 Bellevue Ave, Oakland, California
Read more about the gardens...
View map, directions, and parking info...

Connect with us

Donate Now!

NOTE: You'll be making a secure tax-deductible donation through Square Market to the Friends of the Gardens at Lake Merritt's fiscal agent "Oakland-East Bay Garden Center Inc."

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