The Friends of Brookgreen Gardens was created by the Board of Trustees on October 6, 1990. The original group of 50 members was tasked with the mission “to promote Brookgreen Gardens.” Now a group of more than 80 members, the Friends is comprised of men and women from across South Carolina and adjacent states who have a special interest in and a commitment to Brookgreen Gardens.
The primary function of the organization is to plan and conduct fundraising events. From 1992 to 2010, the Brookgreen Gala was one of the premier fundraising events in the area. In 2011 and 2012, the Friends hosted Derby Day in the Gardens; and En Blanc in 2013. The 2014 and 2015 fundraisers included, An Evening Under the Palmettos, the Friends Silent Auction at the Brookgreen Gardens Wine Tasting, and Brew at the Zoo, our fall craft brew festival.
Proceeds generated by Friends events have supported many projects throughout the years. Gardens’ enhancements have included The Welcome Center Plaza featuring “Fillies Playing”, the rice field restoration project, the River Otter Exhibit, the redesign and planting of the entrance plaza surrounding the “Fighting Stallions”, and the migratory waterfowl exhibit, – just to name a few. In 2015 the Friends launched a special two year fundraising initiative in celebration of their 25th anniversary. Money raised from the gala that year was used to purchase the final casting of “The Peacocks”, by Dan Ostermiller. Most recently, money raised from Masquerade at the Muses in 2016 supported construction of the Stanley and Naomi Bleifeld Gallery and in 2017 Carnivale di Venezia helped support Patrick Dougherty’s new Stickwork sculpture In the Mix. Proceeds from the two most recent Friends’ Benefits, A Huntington Affaire, ¡Viva Havana! will support construction of the Leonard Pavilion at the Lowcountry Center.
The Friends of Brookgreen Gardens continues to play a key role in the preservation and promotion of America’s largest collection of outdoor sculpture showcased in a historical, garden setting.
List of of projects funded in full or in part by the Friends of Brookgreen Gardens
- Brookgreen Entrance Redesign
- Archeological Dig
- Baille Studio
- Ricefield Restoration
- Dogwood Gardens
- Lowcounty Center
- Sculpture Acquisition
- Lowcountry Trail
- Brookgreen Gardens Book/Exhibit
- Daffodil Corridor
- Otter Exhibit
- Whispering Wings Butterfly Exhibit
- Welcome Center Plaza
- Waterfowl Exhibit
- Bleifeld Gallery
- In the Mix - StickWork sculpture
- Leonard Pavilion