Commemorative Giving

The Highline Botanical Garden Foundation is honored when members of the community wish to recognize and remember friends and loved ones by funding a memorial in their honor or memory. The Garden is able to accommodate several types of memorials.

Guidelines have been developed in order to provide consistent policies and practices in keeping with the Foundation’s master plan and its resource capabilities. The guidelines are consistent with the best practices of similar gardens.


Memorial Trees

New Trees

  • The species and size of the tree to be donated must be approved by the Foundation’s Design Committee. Potential donors may contact the Foundation for suggestions of trees appropriate for the Garden (see also Attachment A).
  • Location requests will be honored if possible, but the location must be in keeping with the Garden’s master plan. Final determination of where the tree is planted will be made by the Foundation.
  • Requests to fund a memorial tree may be made at any time of year, but planting time (likely in the spring or fall) will be determined by the Foundation, based upon the best time to plant the particular species chosen.
  • The donor will be informed of the scheduled planting time and location in order to offer the opportunity for the donor to be present at the planting. Family and friends are welcome to hold a ceremony honoring the person being memorialized; however, the Foundation does not have the staff or other resources to assist with the ceremony.
  • The cost of a memorial tree varies by size and type. Donors are responsible for paying the purchase cost of the tree from the chosen nursery plus the nursery delivery fee to the site. In addition, a $75 planting and maintenance fee payable to the Foundation is required.
  • Plaques identifying the species and honoring the donor or loved one will be installed according to Foundation standards on or near the memorial tree.
  • The Foundation will take all reasonable care to preserve in place all newly planted memorial trees. However, donors must realize there may be conditions beyond the Foundation’s control that threaten donated plantings. All trees and garden plantings are living things with limited life spans and are subject to natural disasters, vandalism, disease, and abuse. The Foundation will not replace a memorial tree unless it dies within one year of planting.
  • A memorial tree will be maintained by the Foundation until it dies, becomes a hazard, or must be moved for a build project. If a memorial tree must be moved, the donor will be notified of the new location. The memorial plaque will be moved with tree.


  • A limited number of opportunities exist for you to honor someone by funding the care and maintenance of a tree already existing in the Garden. In general, these will be unusually attractive, slow-growing or rare trees requiring special care. You are invited to request a tour of the Garden to view trees available for the Adopt-A-Tree Program.
  • A memorial plaque will be placed on or near the adopted tree with words similar to the following: “The care of this tree is being provided by _____ in memory of ______.” (name of honoree and relationship to donor, if desired). See item #4, under New Plantings, for the opportunity to be present at, and/or to hold a ceremony for, the person being honored when the plaque is placed.
  • The tree will be maintained until it dies, becomes a hazard, or must be moved for a build project. If for any reason the adopted tree must be removed from the Garden, the donor will be given the opportunity, at no additional cost, to adopt another memorial tree. The person funding the tree’s maintenance will be notified of the new location. The memorial plaque will be moved with the tree.
  • The one-time cost of adopting a tree to honor a special friend or loved one in perpetuity is $500.

Memorial Benches & Other Garden Furniture

  • A limited number of opportunities exist for funding memorial benches, picnic tables, and other garden furniture. All garden furniture is standardized. The appropriateness to the particular setting in the Garden for the memorial bench or other garden furniture will determine the style and type of construction material to be used. Bench donations are $2100.
  • A small standard plaque honoring the person being remembered and/or the donor will be installed on or near the garden furniture. 
  • The donor will be informed of the scheduled installation time and location.
  • The memorial garden furniture will remain in the Garden until it becomes unsafe or aesthetically unacceptable. If the garden furniture must be removed, the donor will be informed.

General Memorial Donations and Other Built Features

  • The Foundation encourages memorial donations in any amount to its general operating fund so that the entire community can continue enjoying the beauty and tranquility of the Garden. All such donations will be acknowledged by a letter of appreciation from the Foundation and will be mentioned in Cuttings, the Foundation’s newsletter, and/or on the Foundation website.
  • Because shrubs and plants, other than trees, are relatively short-lived and may need to be divided or relocated with some frequency — donations of plants such as perennials, groundcovers, ferns, and grasses are not considered appropriate memorials for the Garden. However, from time-to-time a special request for an unusual or rare plant may be accepted. You may contact the Foundation if you have such a request to be considered.
  • Opportunities for small capital memorial donations are also appreciated. These programs will be publicized in Cuttings and on the Garden’s website. To inquire, call or write the Foundation.
  • Naming opportunities may exist for the primary donor(s) to a built site feature such as a bridge or greenhouse, or a garden feature described in the master plan. Interested donors may contact the Foundation for a list of such opportunities.