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2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Friends of Lakewold

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Environment

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.

Programs: Lakewold gardens serves approximately 10,000 guests per year through tours of the gardens, special events, learning opportunities, and rental of the estate. Our volunteers donate several thousand hours each year through work in the garden and office, during special events and activities. Our youth program serves children throughout the community with monthly horticulturally-related workshops and an annual kid's day event. The 612 members of lakewold gardens continued to enjoy free admission for the entire year. Member discounted and free events included mayfest, picnic with purpose, beautiful tables showcase, discovery walks with lakewold's horticulture manager and designer showhouse. The advent of the learn in the garden series has continued to grow volunteer hours at the gardens. Lakewold's youth program has expanded to include youth-oriented tours.

Community Stories

4 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

Board Member

Rating: 4

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.

Review from Guidestar