OCCIDENTAL: Western Hills offering memberships
The famed Western Hills Garden in Occidental for the first time is offering memberships that will include free access to the garden as well as other benefits.
A respected and well-known destination for rare plant collectors for many years, Western Hills, under new owners Chris and Tim Szybalski of Moraga, is struggling back to health after falling into foreclosure and neglect.
The Szybalskis, a tiny paid staff and a cadre of volunteers, are working to bring the garden back. But it's a huge and expensive undertaking.
The new membership program is seen as a way of providing needed support to keep the garden, filled with rare and unusual plants, alive and open to the public.
Membership plans cost $100 for individuals, $500 for Founder's Club members and $1,000 for corporate sponsors. All include unlimited access to the garden, guest passes and other benefits. Founder's Club Members who join by Dec. 31 will also receive a free 2013 calendar featuring photos of the garden.
A new event space at the garden, located on Coleman Valley Road, is nearing completion.
The garden is open by appointment only during winter, but will reopen in February on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
For information or to join, visit westernhillsgarden.com or call 872-5463. New members may also send a check payable to Western Hills Nursery and mail it to 16250 Coleman Valley Road, Occidental, 95465. Include your address, contact information including email and telephone number and your name as you would like it to appear on the garden's website.
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