Marin Bonsai Club docents:

We need volunteers to docent at the Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt! Marin Bonsai Club is assigned to the 4th Saturday of each month. 10am-1pm. Volunteers are always needed, so you’re always welcome to sign up for another day or time.

What does a docent do? At the Garden, a docent will hand out a guide to the trees, be available to answer questions about the garden and bonsai, may personally guide a visitor through the garden, and as time allows, perform light garden and bonsai maintenance, according to the docent’s experience, skill and ability.

If you would like to sign up to docent or need more info, contact us at info@marinbonsai.org or use the Contact Form.

Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt

Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt

The Garden is the home to some of the finest Bonsai in Northern California. Northern California’s only public bonsai collection has been located in the Demonstration Garden at Oakland’s Lakeside Park since 1999. This permanent collection assures that these precious trees and stones by outstanding masters and collectors will be nurtured for the enjoyment of the public. Curator Kathy Shaner is the only Japanese-certified bonsai master in the United States. Trees selected for the Garden number over 250 to supply a rotating display.

Lake Merritt Docent Calendar

Directions to the Bonsai Gardens at Lake Merritt:
Take the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge and follow the signs to join I-80W towards San Francisco. In about 3 miles follow the signs for 580 to Hayward and Oakland. Stay in the right lane and move to the right once you have passed the exit to downtown Oakland. (you don’t take that one) Quickly you will see the exit for Broadway and Auto Row. Take that exit and keep to the left to go southbound on Broadway. Take a right on Broadway. In a few blocks take a left on 27th. This will wind a little and turn into Bay Street, go past the Whole Foods Market, and come to Grand Avenue. Take a left and the entrance to the gardens, and Bellevue Ave. will be immediately on your right. You will see signs for Fairyland and a toll booth for parking. Tell them you are a docent at the Bonsai Gardens and you shouldn’t be required to pay the parking fee. Drive approximately 3/4 around the loop, almost to the boat docks where you will see another entrance to the gardens. Park under the oak trees. The bonsai gardens are to your right once you enter the gardens. A fence surrounds them which features a blue tile roof.

Another popular route takes 980 at the split for 580 and San Francisco. On 980 stay/be in the right lane and take the first exit which is Grand Avenue. Turn left and drive a couple of miles to the Garden Center entrance as described above.

Directions back to Marin from the Bonsai Gardens:
At the end of the garden loop, Bellevue Ave. (before the apartment buildings start), turn left on Perkins and left again on Grand Ave. Drive straight on Grand to the freeway entrance for 580 to Sacramento and San Francisco. Merge onto I-80E and follow the signs to the Richmond San Rafael Bridge back to Marin. (This route has the advantage of bypassing the congestion of the 580/80 merge.)