Garden Creek, circa 1976
Garden Site, circa 1969
Design Team, 2012
Lower Meadow – Garden Core
Children′s Garden
Upper Meadow
Upper Meadow

Imagine the Possibilities

Long-Range Vision Plan for South Coast Botanic Garden

Thank you for visiting our website. This area is dedicated to updating you on the latest developments with the long-range vision plan process currently underway at South Coast Botanic Garden. Information below has been set up to provide you with updates on the progress with the vision plan.

If you have any questions or would like to provide some suggestions, please call the South Coast Botanic Garden Foundation at (424) 452-0920 or email us

JUNE 2013

Thank you to everyone who attended the public meetings held on June 13, 2013. We once again welcomed Scott Scarfone of Oasis Design Group to make a final presentation regarding the Vision Plan and share with us their recommendations for the Garden’s improvement. We now have a final overall rendering of how the Garden could potentially take shape over the next 25 years. In addition, Adrienne Nakashima, CEO for the SCBG Foundation presented the next steps in the plan which are to ensure that a proper programs, financial and overall strategic plan are created and implemented in order to support the Vision Plan. Please see the display window in the Cornish Courtyard for continuing updates and the latest renderings.


Thank you to all of those who attended the public meetings held on February 28. We were able to share the first drafts of the visual renderings that represented areas in the Garden recommended for upgrades and change. These areas included the parking lot, the Garden entry, a home demonstration garden, an expanded Children’s and Japanese garden and additional expansion of plant collections – to name a few. We are currently working with Oasis Design Group to finalize the report and recommendations. Another series of public meetings will be scheduled for late June 2013. In the meantime, please visit the display window in our courtyard to see some of the renderings of the proposed changes.


In early November, Oasis Design Group presented us with some of the findings from their initial analysis. In this presentation, they shared with us their assessment of the physical aspects of the Garden. By carefully examining the existing physical conditions, the garden has the potential to inform and guide the future development of South Coast Botanic Garden when used in conjunction with the expressed desires for the garden’s future growth. The following general physical characteristics were evaluated:

  • Land Use – What is the type of use and physical arrangement of areas of the garden?

  • Circulation – How do people move through the site and how are areas connected – both vehicular and pedestrian?

  • ADA Accessibility – How do varying grades in the elevation of the land affect access as defined by the American with Disabilities Act?

  • Landfill – How does the composition of the fill and certain “hotspot” locations affect the existing conditions and potential development of those areas?

  • Collections – What botanical plant collections currently exist and how can we improve on our “living museum?”

An “Opportunities Diagram” that was presented as part of their analysis. This represents a “first pass” at providing us with some initial ideas as to what can be done to improve the existing space. There are areas for new gardens, expanded collections and additional overlook features. Some of Oasis Design Group’s recommendations for potential improvements include:

  • Potential streetscape improvements to Crenshaw Blvd. fence line.

  • Improved garden entry experiences – both at the garden entrance point from Crenshaw Blvd. as well as the entry into the gardens proper.

  • Enhanced interpretation of key messages relating to our mission.

  • Reorganization of the core garden.

  • Expansion and refinement of key plant collections.

  • Potential building expansion for offices, classrooms, café and meeting spaces.

  • Restoration of the lake area and stream corridor.

  • Selective editing of our collections with a focus on the development of key ‘view corridors’.

  • Potential creation of five new gardens.

As we move forward from here, Oasis will now begin to give detailed physical form to these concepts.  They will return late February 2013 to share with us their next level of recommendations and continue to receive our feedback.

A vision for the future of South Coast Botanic Garden is something we can all be a part of shaping. We hope you will continue your support of this important project.

The Opportunities Diagram along with plans for the re-design of the Rose Garden can be viewed in the Cornish Courtyard display window at South Coast Botanic Garden.


In mid-July, many of you joined us for our first group work sessions that were conducted with Foundation and County staff, volunteers, garden clubs, societies, members and the general public. This is just the first step in the visioning process – and one of the most important. As we move deeper into the planning process it will be your opinions and thoughts that help shape the future of South Coast Botanic Garden.

The work sessions were facilitated by Scott C. Scarfone, the principal from Oasis Design Group, who expertly led us through thinking about the Garden in ways we may not have thought about before. Everybody was asked about their perceptions and desires for SCBG. What do we like about it? What would we like to change? Many detailed and productive conversations were had and out of that came many thoughts and ideas. These were documented and recorded and a thorough analysis of them is currently underway. As a result of those conversations with the various stakeholder groups many common ideas and themes made themselves apparent. Listed below are just a few of those common themes or elements in no particular order:

  • Parking lot and entrance road improvement.

  • Enhanced garden signage and interpretation.

  • Reinvigoration of the lake and stream corridor.

  • Development of a California native plant garden.

  • Food service or garden café.

  • Enhanced attractions in northern end of the garden – preservation of ‘wilderness’ feel.

  • Improved and more convenient exterior special event spaces.

  • Renovation of the rose and Mediterranean gardens.

  • Enlarged and improved children’s garden.

  • Home demonstration garden (vegetable growing, composting, etc.)

  • Improve and increased classroom spaces.

  • Stronger organization of the core gardens.

  • Improved pathway surfacing and accessibility.

The full transcripts will be made public once the vision plan process has been completed by Spring 2013. If you are interested in seeing the transcripts of the notes, please contact the (424) 452-0920 to make an appointment to view them in the SCBG Foundation office.

JULY 2012 

Over the past year, a committee representing members, volunteers, Board of Trustee members, Foundation staff, and staff from the County of Los Angeles took part in an extensive process to select a landscape design firm that would help us develop a long-range vision plan for South Coast Botanic Garden. This firm would prepare a vision plan – for the next 25 years – that works with the Garden’s current strengths and highlights and provides a framework for future facility projects, programs and other improvements. Moving forward, it is important that the South Coast Botanic Garden continues to stay true to its mission to:

“… provide a unique horticulture and wildlife habitat experience and be an example of land reclamation and sustainability.”

We believe this mission can be substantially realized through various improvements to design elements in the Garden. The Oasis Design Group, a landscape architecture, design and planning firm will work with the South Coast Botanic Garden Foundation to develop a plan which will provide definitive recommendations and a specific implementation plan that addresses: sustainable horticulture and land reclamation, an educational and interconnected visitor experience, unifying design elements throughout the Garden and programming that is compatible with the Garden’s mission.

We are inviting the public to actively participate in this journey to IMAGINE THE POSSIBILITIES of what South Coast Botanic Garden can become over the next 25 years. Please email comments and suggestions to: