History of the Garden
The idea for the Manhattan Beach Botanical Garden was developed in 1992 by a group of concerned local citizens. With professional backgrounds in horticulture, design, landscaping, business, and environmental studies, they partnered with the local school district, the City, VOICE (Volunteers and Organizations Improving the Community's Environment), and Chevron to procure a site and funding. It took nine years of planning and planting to complete the garden, which opened to the public on Earth Day 2001.
Their idea was to create a demonstration garden of drought-tolerant landscape plants and install it in a free public park for all to visit. The garden they envisioned would promote wildlife and resource conservation by using and teaching Earth-friendly gardening techniques. It would attract wildlife while educating people.
Once the space was chosen, it went through quite a metamorphosis. The extensive lawn and non-flowering shrubs in the original garden were high-maintenance and required pesticides and fertilizers. They also guzzled water.
All vegetation but a few trees were removed in order to make room for climate appropriate plants, and paths that would take visitors on a meandering walk through nature.