Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden (RSABG), the largest botanic garden dedicated exclusively to California’s native plants, grounds itself with a philosophy of biodiversity and the importance of bringing real-world conservation applications to the public through horticultural education, scientific research and sales of native plants.
Open daily 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.
Closed January 1, July 4, Thanksgiving and December 25
Seniors (ages 65+): $6
Students (with ID): $6
Children (ages 3-12): $4
Children under 3: free
Family: $75 (two adults in household and dependent children)
Individual: $45 (seniors 65+ eligible for $5 discount)
Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden promotes botany, conservation and horticulture to inspire, inform and educate the public and the scientific community about California’s native flora. The Garden is devoted to the collection, cultivation, study and display of native California plants and to graduate training and research in plant systematics and evolution. Through all its programs, the Garden makes significant contributions to the appreciation, enjoyment, understanding and thoughtful utilization of our natural heritage.
Founded in 1927 by Susanna Bixby Bryant on approximately 200 acres of her 6,000-acre working ranch in Orange County. Moved to 86-acre Claremont location in 1951. RSABG Executive Directors: Susanna Bixby Bryant (1927-46); Philip Munz (1946- 60); Lee Lenz (1960-83); Tom Elias (1983-93); H.C. Miller, Interim Director (1993-94); Roy Taylor (1994-99); Clem Hamilton (1999-2004); Patrick Larkin, Interim Executive Director (2004-05); Patrick Larkin (2005 - 2012); Lucinda McDade, Interim Executive Director (2012 - current)
Spread across 86 acres in Claremont, California, the Garden is located approximately 35 miles east of Los Angeles. Nestled in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains, the Garden offers beautiful mountain vistas. The Garden displays about 2,000 taxa of the approximately 6,000 native plant taxa in California and includes those native to the California Floristic Province as a whole. This region extends into southern Oregon, far-western Nevada and extensively into Baja California, Mexico.
RSABG is committed to making its exhibitions, programs and services accessible to all. All buildings and most garden areas at RSABG are accessible to visitors with limited mobility. Due to the terrain, some areas may present challenges to those with ambulatory disabilities. Contact the Visitor Services Department for questions regarding accessibility.
Accreditation and Associations
RSABG is accredited by the American Association of Museums, and is an institutional member of American Public Gardens Association; Association of Systematics Collections; Center for Plant Conservation; California Association of Nurserymen, California Garden Clubs, Inc.; Claremont Community Coordinating Council and Claremont Chamber of Commerce. RSABG was one of the first botanic gardens to be accredited by the American Association of Musuems. RSABG is an affiliate of The Claremont Colleges.
Executive Director and Senior Staff
Lucinda McDade, Interim Executive Director
Kristine Crosby, Director of Finance
Eric Garton, Director of Visitor Services
Rebecca Lerback, Director of Development
Scott LaFleur, Director of Horticulture
Lucinda McDade, Judith B. Friend Director of Research and Chair of CGU Botany Dept.
Board of Trustees
Elin R. Dowd, Chair
Richard A. Grant Jr.
Edward A. Landry
Marshall W. Taylor
Thomas C. Brayton, Ex-officio Board Member
Board of Overseers
Thomas C. Brayton, Chair
Michael J. Fay
Sean R. Gallagher
Larry K. Grill
Louisa N. Miller, Overseer Emerita
Development and Membership
Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden touches lives and makes an impression on vistors of all ages and participate in the Garden’s many programs. As a private, non-profit 501 (C) (3), RSABG relies on the charitable support of individuals, corporations and foundations.
Membership: 3,000 members
Total Donations (fiscal year 2011): $682,130
The Horticulture Department of RSABG is comprised of three distinct programs that contribute significantly to the organization’s mission—The Living Collection, Seed Conservation Program and Grow Native Nursery. The Seed Conversation Program preserves in freezers approximately 1,400 species and varieties; over 170 are rare and or endangered. Grow Native Nursery has two locations; one in Claremont and the second in Westwood, Los Angeles.
The variety of interpretive programs, community education classes, tours, field trips, special events and activities are offered through the Education Department, which is coordinated through the Visitor Services Department.
Graduate Education and Research
As a research organization and institution of higher education, RSABG is involved with research in systematic and evolutionary botany (science fields that sort out the relationships and evolutionary history of plants).
Claremont Graduate University (CGU) Department of Botany at RSABG
Lucinda A. McDade, Ph.D., professor of botany, and chair of the Botany Department
Enrollment (current as of 2010-11 academic year): 14 graduate students
Faculty: three core faculty, two research assistant professors, two emeriti
Courses: 10 graduate courses, plus 17 seminars, focused on plant systematics and evolutionary botany
Degrees offered: M.S. and Ph.D.
Lucinda A. McDade, Judith B. Friend Director of Research
Herbarium: 1.1 million specimens and ranks as the 13th largest in the U.S.
Library: 44,000 volumes, including 500 periodical subscriptions
The Library (non-circulating) consists of botanical and horticultural books and journals, and included in the Library is Susanna Bixby Bryant’s personal library with significant holdings on California history and botany.
Laboratories: Molecular Lab, Anatomy Lab North, Anatomy Lab South, Growth Chambers
Publications: “Aliso” and occasional publications
The Visitor Services Department manages guest relations, facility rental and event planning, community education, tour and school programs, the California Garden Shop, admission kiosk, public relations and marketing.
Figures below reflect July 2010 through June 2011 data.
Annual visitation: 48,672
Total gate revenue: $106,321
Butterfly Pavilion visitation (May - July 2011): 5,982
In 2009-10, 121 total School, Private Group and Tram Tours served 3,783 participants.
Community education classes served over 1,000 learners.
Weekend/Seasonal discovery carts engaged 1,025 guests.
Approximately 1,500 guests visited RSABG’s Tongva village site during monthly Tongva Living History days.
Volunteers: 250 RSABG volunteers contribute more than 24,000 hours of service.
Pauline Amell Nash, Public Relations and Marketing
Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden
1500 North College Avenue
Claremont, CA 91711
Phone: (909) 625-8767 ext. 260
Last updated: September 2011