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The East Bay Regional Parks Botanic Garden in Tilden Park Revisited

Articles: The East Bay Regional Parks Botanic Garden in Tilden Park Revisited

Mr Roof came home from army service in Europe… and returned to work at the Tilden Botanic Garden in February 1946. Although the garden’s basic plantings had been saved, during the four war years the garden had reverted to an incredible coastal jungle. Weeds were everywhere and were head high. The grass in the meadows was three feet tall, matted and rematted, tough and hard to clear. The creek was a jungle of willows; wide thickets of poison oak had reclaimed what had been the most pleasant open stretches of the garden.
Rimo Bacigalupi, in Journal of the California Horticultural Society
January 1965

In 1965 Dr Rimo Bacigalupi described the twenty-five-year-old East Bay Regional Parks Botanic Garden in Berkeley’s Tilden Park in the Journal of the California Horticultural Society (Vol. 26, No. 1). A close friend and colleague of James B. Roof, the garden’s founding director, Dr Bacigalupi was able to recount the garden’s history from the vantage point of one who had been there through all of the critical developments of the first quarter century. He tells us how Howard McMinn, professor of botany at Mills College in Oakland, conceived of the need for a native plant botanical gard...

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