Ways to Give

General operating support

Your donation to Descanso Gardens helps us grow! To make a donation, click here.

Tribute gifts

Whether you are honoring a deceased friend or loved one, or simply wish to honor a nature lover, you may name an Honoree when you make a gift to Descanso Gardens.  To make a Tribute Gift, click here.


At Descanso, we strive to create and nurture a natural, serene setting which offers a variety of experiences to people of all ages. We also want to give people the opportunity to stop, sit, see, and contemplate a bit. Throughout the Descanso landscape, we have identified a limited number of locations that provide an ideal setting for distinctive wood benches where guests can take a break and enjoy the view. These benches are sponsored by donors who make contributions of $25,000, and they make a fitting tribute to loved ones, whether living or deceased. The benches include an engraved brass dedication plaque that commemorates these special people. Just as in nature, where everything has its season, these benches live in the landscape—and in the lives of all who enjoy them—for a fixed period of 10 years.

Planned Gifts

As an institution that has served many generations—of both plants and people—time takes on a different meaning in the presence of the Descanso oaks, some of them probably now in their fourth century of life. The good that people do in the world can live beyond their allotted years through careful estate planning that includes Descanso Gardens as a beneficiary. Deferred gifts may be pledged to Descanso Gardens. Including Descanso Gardens as a beneficiary of your estate will help the Gardens grow and evolve for generations to come.

For more information on gifts to Descanso Gardens, including tribute benches and planned giving, please contact Development Manager Somer Sherwood-White at (818) 952-4389 or ssherwood@descansogardens.org.


Legacy Society

The Legacy Society was formed in order to offer our thanks to people who have notified us of their decision to include Descanso in their wills and estates. Recognition for members of the Legacy Society is provided by inclusion, as a special category, in the Descanso donor-recognition display located in the Courtyard:

  • Heather Sturt Haaga and Paul G. Haaga, Jr.
  • George “Buddy” Moss
  • Judith Lee and David R. Brown
  • Richard Schulhof & Sandy Goodenough
  • Robert H. Barbarin
  • Ertel Family Trust
  • Paul & JoAnn McBride
  • Elizabeth Crawford McMurray
  • In Honor of Elizabeth Quinn Hein
  • Elsie & John Sadler
  • Anita Jane Davis