The Forrest Deaner Native Plant Botanic Garden
The Forrest Deaner Native Plant Botanic Garden (Benicia Botanic Garden), is a volunteer project of the Benicia State Parks Association (BSPA).
The garden is a story of a dream, of love, a promise and a commitment. The dream was that of the late Forrest Deaner, who laid the groundwork for the Garden, when he founded the Willis Linn Jepson Chapter in 1998. He recruited new members, horticulture and landscape professionals, negotiated and brokered with the State Parks for the garden site. The love was that of native California plants – he had this exciting vision of the Garden being “one of the only kind in the state” and worked tirelessly until the end to facilitate making it so, even as he was fighting the ravages of his rapidly deteriorating health. The promise was that of Norma, his widow, who promised him that she would continue his work. She sought the advice of experienced grant-writers, learned to write grants & received funding to start the Garden. The commitment is that of the Founding Botanic Garden Committee (Gary Brogan, Norma Deaner, Tim Sullivan, and Susan Dean) whose countless volunteer hours served to help complete the Garden in record time.
The garden site is comprised of about 3.5 acres within the Benicia State Recreation Area, adjacent to the main picnic area, and just before Dillon Point. There are demonstration gardens featuring native plants from across California:
Sensory-Residential, Hummingbird/Butterfly, Native American, Meadow, and Riparian
Native plants of Solano County are highlighted in several community areas:
Coastal Prairie, Coastal Sage Scrub, Chaparalll, Foothill Woodlands
This makes the Garden unique for the appreciation and understanding of the local flora of our environment. The Garden is an ideal setting for learning about native plants and how they may be used in home gardens and other landscape projects. Environmental education classes for school age children and other field trip opportunities provide a complete outdoor learning adventure.
The Forrest Deaner Native Plant Botanic Garden officially opened to the public with a grand celebration on November 13, 2004