Visitor and Education Center Project
7/15/17 Update -

New Challenge Grant Received and Groundbreaking Celebration Set:

The Ruth Bancroft Garden is pleased to announce it has received a new $1.15 million Challenge Grant to help the Garden raise the final $2.3 million needed to fully fund construction of a new Visitor and Education Center. This Challenge Grant is offered by two long-time supporting families of the Garden—Ken and Donna Coit, and Sharon Simpson and the Barclay and Sharon Simpson Foundation.  The Coit Simpson Challenge Grant will match all new gifts and pledges up to $1.15 million to help fund the historic building project, starting this July 2017.

Rendering of new Visitor and Education Center from the east side of parking lot. Phase I construction of the project—grading and construction of the entry plaza, the Nursery display and sales area, and the parking lot, is now planned to start in this August with an August 19 Groundbreaking Celebration. Rendering by Robert Becker with IDF Global.

With this Grant the Garden has now raised $3.45 million in gifts and pledges, or over 75 percent of the $4.6 million total goal needed to complete construction. Three hundred generous members and friends of the Garden, and 7 local foundations have contributed thus far to the project.


Groundbreaking for Phase I of the building project will be held on Saturday, August 19, 2017 from 5 PM to 7 PM. All donors, volunteers, Walnut Creek City, County and State officials and Planning Department personnel involved in the project approvals will be invited to attend, along with members and friends interested in learning more about the project, or making a pledge or gift to help fulfill this generous Challenge Grant.  For more information, please email Billie Hopper at or visit the Garden website, To request an invitation to the groundbreaking contact Tracy Fletcher at

If you would like to contribute to the new Building, click the button below or email for more information.


Remember we need your donations to the Golden Barrel Annual fund as well as the Visitor and Education Center fund. Contact Gretchen Bartzen or Billie Hopper to find out about making your donation a 50/50 split to annual fund and Visitor Center or with any other questions.

Thank you to everyone who attended the Groundbreaking Celebration, and for all of your continued support!
Groundbreaking Celebration
pete bancroft
breaking ground
sharon simpson
golden shovel
Welcome Wall and Donor Recognition

The community built tile mosaic Welcome Wall, which will greet visitors at the new Entry Plaza, began this past August 20-21 at Civic Park in downtown Walnut Creek. Lead artists for the Garden—Donna Billick and her apprentice Amanda Larson—led a team of 17 clay artists associated with the Center for Community Arts in Walnut Creek on a 2-day workshop to create and paint the tiles for the west side of the Wall. Folks like the mom pictured at right and her very strong clay worker daughter, joined over 200 Garden members and general public to participate in this workshop last August. Donna Billick ( of Davis, CA) who has been creating large scale community art pieces for civic projects for 30 years, noted that the community turnout was so great that participants used over 700 pounds of clay in 2 days! Billick and Larson will complete the construction of the mosaic wall façades over the next several months.


Engraved Permanent Donor Tiles Available

The east side of the wall, which will face the Nursery and be visible as visitors approach the new Entry Plaza from the parking lot, will be made up of donor tiles that will be imprinted with the names of supporters who have donated $500 or more. Those tiles will soon be in production at Billick Rock Art. There are three sizes of tiles: one for donors of $500-$2,499, one for donors of $2,500-$9,999, and one for donors of $10,000 or more. Click here if you would like to donate and be a permanent part of the Garden’s Welcome Wall.


Donor Wall and Thank You Gifts

Mission Statement
The mission of the Ruth Bancroft Garden, Inc. is to preserve this exceptional example of garden design and to continue to develop its collection of water-conserving plants for the education and enjoyment of the public.
Event and Media Sponsors

The success of our events depends on our generous media and event sponsors. Thank you!

Diablo Magazine
















Renaissance Club Sport

Grant Funders

The Ruth Bancroft Garden would like to recognize the following grant funders:

The Quest Foundation for funding our Education Coordinator’s position

The Mervyn L. Brenner Foundation for funding our directional signs

The California Horticultural Society for funding towards our restoration projects

The Bonita Garden Clubfor funding restoration and education projects


The Stanley Smith Horticultural Trust for funding our nursery renovation


The Ruth Bancroft Garden GardenConservancy