Gardens

Post image for Filoli makes changes in visitor access, staffing and volunteer training as it looks to the future

This year, under new leadership, Filoli has expanded hours of operation and the community response was very positive.

“We have experienced nearly a 30% increase in attendance just by opening our doors more widely,” said Kara Newport, Chief Executive Officer at Filoli, who was brought on board just a year ago.

Filoli is now exploring new ideas to realign programs and increase visitor access to the estate, including plans to be open year-round. Revenue generated from increased attendance will be re-invested into staff and resources needed to support Filoli’s mission of preservation and education.

Filoli recently opened a self-guided trail so that visitors can experience the natural landscape, including the fields and Nature Center, at their own pace. Access to the trail is included in the General Admission and includes interpretive information highlighting animals, farming, native plants, history, geology, and seasonal attractions.

Also through the fall, Filoli will have interactive opportunities such as a labyrinth, pumpkin patch, scarecrows and more. These elements will be available every weekend through November 5.

Filoli is also exploring opportunities to grow school and youth programs. Historically Filoli has served school programs with House Tours and Nature Hikes. Through an enhanced school program, Filoli plans to deliver a consistent curriculum among student groups and provide teachers with the tools to continue lessons in their classrooms.

Additionally, to better serve the approximately 37% of economically disadvantaged school-aged youth in San Mateo County, the program will fund scholarships for schools and be promoted to new and diverse audiences.  Fundraising to support this program realignment is underway.

Filoli has expanded staffing — especially in the area of interpretation — to connect the Filoli stories with new audiences. The Friends of Filoli volunteer program has also long-provided support for the programs and events at Filoli. This will continue, with emphasis on creating a sustainable model that attracts diverse volunteers from the community.

“We want to establish the highest standard for our volunteers to ensure best practices in both volunteer program management and also in service delivery,” says Donna Mollenhauer, Chair of the Friends of Filoli and Vice President of the Board of Directors.

One of the hallmarks of the changes in the volunteer program will be modular online training to make training more flexible and accessible especially for key areas like docent training. A Volunteer Recruitment event for new volunteers will be held on Saturday, October 21 and is free of charge.

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Sunflowers brighten up Robin Tobias’s Menlo Park yard

Thumbnail image for Sunflowers brighten up Robin Tobias’s Menlo Park yard

InMenlo contributing photographer Robb Most was at it again, this time photographing sunflowers at the west side of Menlo in Robin Tobias’s yard. (Last month Robb photographed the sunflower forest in Art Scott and Cindy Sumida-Scott’s backyard in the FairOaks neighborhood of Menlo Park.) Robin sent us an email about this year’s garden:  “I planted […]

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A sunflower forest grows in Menlo Park

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There are sunflowers — and then there is the sunflower forest in Art Scott and Cindy Sumida-Scott’s Menlo Park backyard. First came the work of local landscape designer Janet Bell, who redid the yard. At that project’s conclusion, the couple sent cards to the various workers, expressing “this beautiful garden representing the analemma [sun’s path] […]

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A second peek at Kathy Brenzel’s rose-filled Menlo Park backyard

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Editor’s note: Along with InMenlo contributing photographer Frances Freyberg, we visited Kathy Brenzel’s Menlo Park backyard, which is ablaze with roses. This is the second report about what we saw; part one is here. Kathy has a special place in her heart for the roses that Frances captured sitting in a little vase. “It’s an […]

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Kathy Brenzel finds her Menlo Park garden ablaze with roses this spring

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That almost 50 roses populate Kathy Brenzel’s Menlo Park backyard may not be surprising given that she is the former Garden Editor of Sunset, who retired last year. But the roses go further back than her career at the magazine. “It all started with the Cl.Cécile Brünner,” she said about the roses surrounding her while being photographed by InMenlo contributing […]

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Numerous Earth Day related events planned in Atherton on April 22

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Atherton’s Earth Day celebration runs from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm on Saturday, April 22, 2017, at the Town Center (Ashfield Road and Dinkelspiel Station Lane). The Town’s Environmental Programs Committee, Recology and the Atherton Library are teaming up to bring residents free garden mulch, e-waste safe recycling, secure shredding, eco-friendly 3-D printing, the San Mateo County Bookmobile, earth […]

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These spring flowers are blooming brightly thanks to all the rain

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Walking to the Stanford Shopping Center along Bay Laurel this week, it was impossible to ignore the abundance of blooms. We checked in with Menlo Park resident Kathy Brenzel, who served as Sunset’s garden editor for many years when the magazine was in Menlo Park. She emailed: “[All] this rain has done wonders for home gardens. My […]

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Spotted: Tree climbing chicken in Atherton

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Menlo Park resident Jennifer Morrissey snapped this photo of a chicken climbing a tree in Atherton. She emails: “Chicken belongs to one of my dog walking clients (he has a flock of 5). The chicken just started climbing the tree. He put some shredded bedding up there for her. Love it!”

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The Allied Arts Guild is ablaze in blooms today, thanks to the Garden Club of America flower show

Thumbnail image for The Allied Arts Guild is ablaze in blooms today, thanks to the Garden Club of America flower show

The Arts of the Garden — a judged Garden Club of America flower show displaying excellence, beauty and knowledge in floral design, horticulture, photography and conservation — took place at the Allied Arts Guild in Menlo Park on Friday, March 31. InMenlo contributing photographer Frances Freyberg was on hand and sent us some photos, mostly […]

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Flowering pear trees bid farewell to winter

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The 30 plus inches of rain this season have kept InMenlo weather watcher Bill Russ busy. So it seems fitting that his driveway is lined with flowering pear trees, among the first trees to blossom as winter yields to spring. Alas, it may not be the end of the wetness. Showers are predicted over the next […]

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Spotted: Sign of spring on sparkly sunny day

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Yesterday didn’t feel like it was still winter, rather much more like a late spring day. Robin Tobias snapped this happy flower with water droplets while jogging. Alas, the clouds are back today.  

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