Help Our Gardens Grow!

If you’ve visited the Gardens at Lake Merritt for an event, for a respite from the rush of everyday life or to give your time as IMG_8773a volunteer, you know this civic gem, situated in Oakland’s Lakeside Park, is a special place.

We depend on our volunteers!  Please join us for one of our work days, below.  Thanks for your help.

Community Involvement

Your involvement and support is crucial to helping the Gardens continue to represent the best of who we are as Oaklanders. Last year, the Gardens were named “Oakland’s Hidden Oasis” by ABC Local News, and “The People’s Garden” by Oakland Magazine.

Join the Fun and Support the Garden

On gardens work days, please bring your gloves, and your favorite small garden tools if you have them, and a friend. We provide gloves and garden tools as well. Just show up, we’ll be glad to give you a job!

Tell the parking attendant at the kiosk you are with the Friends of the Garden at Lake Merritt and volunteering at the Gardens at Lake Merritt so you can park for free.

Gardens of Lake Merritt Friends

daisybutterflyIn the past, the Gardens were supported by a professional staff that helped keep the grounds beautiful. Unfortunately, municipalities can no longer hope to maintain these treasures without partners in the community. The Herculean efforts of the Gardens’ dwindling and overextended staff, assisted by a corps of stalwart volunteers, have not only kept the Gardens vibrant and vital—they have worked a miracle—the renaissance of this city’s green heart.

The Friends of the Gardens of Lake Merritt, a volunteer group, is dedicated to the stewardship of this resource, helping to maintain the Gardens, while advancing a vision of educational and cultural capacity-building.

Volunteer Opportunities

Our current workday volunteer offerings for individuals and small groups are:

      • First Saturday of the month – Mediterranean GIMG_8791arden  – 9:30 am – 12:30
      • Third* Saturday of the month – Sensory Garden – 9:30 am – 12:30
      • Third Saturday of the month – Rhododendron Garden 9:30 – 12:30
      • Weekday morning volunteer events and other fun activities will be announced on our Facebook page
      • Contact us for more information!


Do you know someone who loves the Gardens at Lake Merritt as much as we do?  You can give the gift of the Gardens and make a donation in honor of a loved one, too. For your tax-deduction purposes, please note that the Friends of the Gardens at Lake Merritt (FGLM) is a grassroots volunteer group fiscally sponsored by 501(c)3 nonprofit, the Oakland East Bay Garden Center Inc. (OEBGCI). Your donation is tax-deductible and will support FGLM though our OEBGCI sponsorship.

Your online tax-deductible donation will help sustain this treasure, bolster facility improvements, support educational programs, and help carry the Gardens into the future. If you’d like to make a tax-deductible gift in support of the Gardens at Lake Merritt, you can donate online today  – your donation will be processed through Square Market to the Friends of the Gardens at Lake Merritt’s’ fiscal agent “Oakland-East Bay Garden Center Inc.”

Thank you for helping Oakland’s green heart beat stronger!