FRIENDS OF LAKEWOLD

Rating: 4.89 stars   38 reviews

Issues: Environment

Location: PO Box 39780 Lakewood WA 98496 USA

Mission: To preserve and enhance Lakewold Gardens as a historic estate garden of world class distinction, offering each visitor an inspirational experience through growth and learning in a profoundly unique setting.
2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

Lakewold Garden is a beautiful public garden located 1.3 miles off the free way in the city of Lakewold. This makes Lakewold easy to get to for busy individuals. The real magic happens as you drive in the garden estate. You immediately begin to feel relaxed. The design really functions as a retreat. It’s located on a small lake. It’s peaceful and quite. The staff is both helpful and kind. The garden boasts a magnificent Rhododendron collection with nearly 900 rhodies. They have state champion trees, a knot garden, and have been home to the blue poppy. The garden is meticulously maintained. It’s the perfect spot for a wedding or just a picnic with your special someone. They offer classes, tours and fantastic events.

Lakewold’s mission is “to preserve and enhance Lakewold Gardens as a historic estate garden of world class distinction, offering each visitor an inspirational experience through growth and learning in a profoundly unique setting.” From my experience they live up to this statement.

Lakewold was blessed with the establishment of an endowment when they first opened. These funds have helped Lakewold keep low admissions and membership fees but only offset roughly 50% of the gardens annual operating budget. Lakewold is also blessed with some very enthusiastic volunteers who help keep the garden in award winning condition as well as keep costs down. Lakewold has been historically self sustaining; however the recent economic down turn has reduced the value of the endowment and reduced the level of individual gifting that they historically enjoyed. While admissions and membership is on the rise it’s not enough to offset the decline in the endowment and individual gifting. Lakewold is a relaxing oasis in a hectic world. I truly hope that Lakewold is able to win this prize. It is a very deserving organization.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I've been involved with Lakewold for a number of years. It's impressive to hear new vistors talk about how much they enjoyed their visit. I enjoy attending Lakewold events as well as meeting new members. We recently had a 20th year anniversary party that was well attended. It was impressive to see the impact Lakewold has on the community.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Lakewold is 20 years old and is in need of some modernization. They have plans to build a visitor center that will serve as the gateway to the gardens. I've seen plans to improve access to wheel chairs and make the gardens more ADA accessible. These plans also change the path of the gardens to make the vistors stroll more leasurely while opening views of the lake. None of these improvements can occur without additional financial support from donors and the community.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

In this hectic, urban, workaday world of ours we yearn for an oasis, a retreat where we can listen to nature, collect our thoughts and bring back some balance into our lives. We wish there was a place where we could take a leisurely walk amidst various types of foliage, tall and graceful trees, bubbling fountains, manicured lawns, rustic trails, gurgling brooks and perhaps suddenly end up at the water's edge of a quiet lake. Perhaps it would be utopian to expect this idyllic spot to be in our neck of the woods.

Believe it or not, there is such a paradise in the heart of Lakewood on the shores of Gravelly Lake itself. It is called Lakewold Gardens and it is indeed one of Lakewood’s hidden gems. In keeping with its mission, this ten acre historic nonprofit garden estate offers each visitor an inspirational experience through growth and learning in a profoundly unique setting. Its core values include Education and Environmental Awareness, Preservation, Community Commitment and Fiscal Stewardship.

In this day and age with the advent of the Web, you can whet your appetite by checking out the website at www.lakewoldgardens.org. But just as a picture is better than a thousand words, the visit itself will take your breath away.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in comments from visitors, events that I have attended and the periodic meetings that I attend in my role as President and member of the governing Board.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I work hard to help it to increase its membership and donors so it can grow in its ability to be true to its mission and core values.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I was a member of Lakewold for many years, before becomming a board member. Lakewold is a very special place. It is beautiful, has an abundance of unusual and rare plants and trees, but it's much more. It's a place to connect with nature, and invigorate your soul.
The gardens are lovely any time of year, but spring is terrific with all the plants, flowers and trees opening their sleepy heads to greet the new season.
Lakewold experience is further enhanced by the knowledge, stewardship, and care and concern of the employees. It is an experience to be savored...like a fine wine, it just gets better with age.
If you are anywhere near the Lakewood area, please stop by and see what I'm talking about, you will be glad you did.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Their community outreach. The many events they offer. My personal visits. My newly appointment to the board.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Add more seating areas, where I can linger and enjoy the tranquility of the gardens.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 4 stars  

Lakewold is a garden estate of world-class distinction, nestled in the heart of Lakewood, Washington. It is successfully managed, through its non-profit organization and stewards the estate and legacy of the late Eulalie Wagner. Whilst mostly organic in its practices Lakewold is known for its champion trees and plantings from all over the world - its breathtaking vista's make this a memorable visit.
In keeping with a highly valued education component of its mission, they offer classes, docent trainings and will be introducing a speaker series; conversations with Thought Leaders from all over the Land, that will inspire greater collaboration between their visitors, the public and its on-line community in parternship with local, national and global, business, academic, indigenous and civic leaders. The series will have a public speaking component and a membership upgrade that includes Jazz evenings in the garden and content-driven Lecture keynotes.
Lakewold is a forward thinkiing organizaiton that embraces change while implementing solutions that enhance its ability to serve its community and allow the organization to enjoy greater sustainability. Visit Lakewold on-line and for sure, take a trip to see them. www.lakewoldgardens.org.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

its strategic planning and development.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

It is a work in progress.

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Review from Guidestar