We support San Mateo’s Central Park…

The San Mateo Arboretum Society is a “member and volunteer powered” organization dedicated to the preservation of San Mateo’s rich horticultural heritage.  Our headquarters and most of our activities are focused around the historic Kohl Pump House area in Central Park, adjacent to downtown San Mateo.  Our mission is to:

  • Encourage interest in gardening
  • Collect and propagate diverse plant species
  • Educate the community on horticultural subjects
  • Support Central Park and maintain the Rose Garden

Peninsula resident and garden enthusiast, Marion Panaretos, founded the San Mateo Arboretum Society in 1974.  Because of her own love of gardens, Mrs. Panaretos recognized the importance of protecting the botanical aspects of San Mateo’s Central Park, and also the Kohl Pumphouse.

Ongoing activities include monthly free educational seminars and workshops, Master Gardeners’ free plant clinics, operation of the Garden Center which sells specialty plants to the public, maintenance of the park’s beloved Rose Garden as well as the Kohl Pump House and surrounding landscaping.  Regular newsletters provide useful, season-specific gardening information and anecdotes.  Our primary yearly event is the popular San Mateo/Hillsborough Fall Garden Tour, featuring gardens reflecting a broad variety of methods and designs.

As a 501(c)(3) California non-profit organization, funds received for membership as well as donations to the San Mateo Arboretum Society are tax-deductible to the member or donor.  Funds generated by our activities are contributed towards beautification, preservation and major maintenance projects for Central Park.

Our wonderful working relationship with the City of San Mateo has significantly contributed to our success.  In collaboration with the City, the San Mateo Arboretum society has accomplished the following major projects in Central Park:

  • Restored and modernized the Kohl Pumphouse
  • Developed a master plan for Central park
  • Created the fern grove in honor of Mayor John Condon
  • Developed the rhododendron and azalea garden
  • Developed, enlarged and maintain the rose garden and gazebo
  • Restored the greenhouse and nursery comprising the Garden Center