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Goin Native Therapeutic Gardens

 31661 LOS RIOS ST
[P] (949) 6066386
[F] --
[email protected]
Marianne Taylor
 Printable 1 Page Summary
 Printable Profile
Organization DBA --
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the community foundation in the past five years Yes
Employer Identification Number 46-3782999 00000


Mission StatementMORE »

As a nonprofit 501(c)(3), Goin Native Therapeutic Gardens is committed to providing horticultural education, emotional and physical rehabilitation, and practical life skills to people of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds, while promoting environmental sustainability and saving community resources.

Mission Statement

As a nonprofit 501(c)(3), Goin Native Therapeutic Gardens is committed to providing horticultural education, emotional and physical rehabilitation, and practical life skills to people of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds, while promoting environmental sustainability and saving community resources.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year 2020
Projected Expenses $59,400.00
Projected Revenue $86,700.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Festival of the Butterflies
  • Los Rios Garden Angel Program

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Mission Statement

As a nonprofit 501(c)(3), Goin Native Therapeutic Gardens is committed to providing horticultural education, emotional and physical rehabilitation, and practical life skills to people of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds, while promoting environmental sustainability and saving community resources.

Background Statement

Goin Native Therapeutic Gardens’ mission is to help people and plants thrive together. Our vision is focused on well-being and environmental sustainability. Our organization began in 2009 when Marianne Taylor approached the city of San Juan Capistrano with her idea of creating a volunteer group to manage and maintain native plants in local parks. Beginning with presenting a variety of plant workshops, this volunteer group grew to become Goin Native Therapeutic Gardens (GNTG). GNTG is now a 501(C)(3) organization providing basic garden, life, and employment skills through various outreach programs in the community. We educate, empower, and connect with local families, college students, disabled adults, at risk youth, seniors, recovering adults and the military using The Los Rios Park. We are committed to providing horticultural education, emotional & physical rehabilitation, and practical life skills to people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds.

Current programs include 12 free classes at Los Rios Park catering to children and adults in the community. Our volunteer force has grown to over 60 people of all ages, stages, and backgrounds, and who contribute over 6,000 service hours a year. Park volunteers have been enriched through our local school district’s Adult Transition Work Program. This program provides adults aged 18-22 with developmental disabilities ages with gardening and life skills creating vocational opportunities. We have received the American Society of Landscape Architects Public Stewardship Award for our significant contribution to enhancing the environment and quality of life in Southern California. We are certified by the North American Butterfly Association as an official butterfly sanctuary. Our Founder has also been recognized by the Mayor of San Juan Capistrano as Community Environmental Educator of the Year in 2018.

Impact Statement

We are celebrating our 10th anniversary this fall. Due to our success in caring for the Los Rios Park Garden in November 2018, the City of San Juan Capistrano and Goin Native Therapeutic Gardens entered into a five-year agreement for the continuing care, maintenance, development of the pollinator gardens. As part of our educational goals, we will implement demonstration gardens showing the benefits of native plantings and water conservation as a way to nurture our butterflies and pollinators. Furthermore, we were recognized by the Orange County Department of Education as a Class Site for Specials Needs Adults in these public park programs. Additionally, we entered into a new contract with Casa de Amma, a private residence for special needs adults where we will design and build a garden space to host farm stands, sensory gardens, and meaningful vocational opportunities for the residents. Finally, we were able to raise a total of $30,000 throughout the fiscal year from corporate sponsorships, private donors, and fundraising events each season.

This upcoming year, we plan on offering more garden programs out of private gardens for special needs adults throughout Orange County, in places similar to Casa de Amma. We are also looking to hire an additional part-time garden program assistant manager to grow the public park programs from a two-day-a-week program to five-day-a-week. This past year, we averaged 60 volunteers weekly and hope to expand that to 150 weekly next year. As we have worked the past 10 years out of a private residence, we are looking to rent private office space in downtown San Juan Capistrano to provide a base of operations for all of our programs. Finally, we hope to establish a long-term partnership with a corporate sponsor to support our mission and provide financial stability.

Needs Statement

We have formalized our relationship with the city of San Juan Capistrano and will care for and maintain the butterfly gardens at Los Rios Park. In this role, we will educate the public on environmental sustainability and conservation methods through free monthly classes and garden tours at the park. We expanded our relationship with programs for adults with developmental disabilities. We work with Capistrano Unified School District and two private adult day programs for adults 18 years and older that collectively bring 60 individuals to our site twice a week for behavioral therapeutic experiences. In these capacities, we need both full-time and part-time staff. We are actively searching for a full-time Executive Director to manage the entire organization ($60,000); a full-time administrative assistant to assist the Executive Director ($36,000); and two part-time garden park managers to direct and implement the tasks on a weekly basis ($25,000). Furthermore, we host four seasonal fundraising events annually that rely on sponsorships and donations for operational costs ($5,000/each event). Finally, we need to purchase adaptive agricultural curriculum and natural resources for the developmentally disabled to advance our mission.

CEO Statement

Our primary benefactors represent the 20% of America who identify on the developmentally disabled spectrum, also known as the "invisible" members of society. Our goal is to create awareness, develop vocational opportunities, and foster meaningful and purposeful lives to not only make these individuals visible, but also valued members in their communities.

Board Chair Statement

My love of gardening, the outdoors and individuals with disabilities has drawn me into my role as Board Chair. As a board and care provider for developmentally disabled adults, I know the value in providing a variety of opportunities for individuals with disabilities to foster their abilities and make connections in areas of success. Interacting in the gardening and finding success is something that is fostered by Goin Native Therapeutic Gardens. To spend time in the gardening planting, maintaining and reaping the benefits of their efforts allows individuals with disabilities to achieve a level of success that is immeasurable. The long-term benefits include not only the therapeutic benefits but the potential vocational opportunities that can become available to the student participants. Unemployment among individuals with disabilities is very high and by creating potential job skills these individual’s lives are changed forever.

I could not be more proud of the work of GNTG and its contribution to the local community and beyond.

Other Ways to Donate/Volunteer

Goin Native Therapeutic Gardens is constantly growing and developing private and public garden programs, restoring habitats, and creating opportunities for learning in outdoor classrooms to nurture people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds. We focus on wellbeing and environmental sustainability using the garden as an educational tool, for healing while caring for nature. The Los Rios Park is our classroom, the community is our student. We’ve created a place where people and plants thrive together, transforming lives and gardens. We also have established the San Juan Capistrano’s first North American certified butterfly garden in the Los Rios Park, home to seven Orange County native butterfly species. We have park volunteer opportunities every Tuesday and Thursday and on the first Saturday of each month from 8:30am-10:30am. No experience necessary as we will teach volunteers how to garden. Organizations and schools are welcome to come and nurture and grow in our gardens. Volunteers are needed all year long for each of our park programs. All programs provide environmental and health education, products, and resources to the public as well as opportunities to help and assist with variety of operational tasks. We offer free garden workshops once a month catered to children and adults helping connect to nature through the garden. We also host four seasonal fundraising events each year – the Festival of the Butterflies in the Summer, Historic District Ghost Walks in the Fall, Holiday Ornament Decorations in the Winter, and Garden Tours and Plant Sales in the Spring. We invite you to help water our seeds of environmental sustainability and well-being programs. Our organization accepts donations via our website or via mail-in check and welcomes a variety of in-kind support in services, talents, and volunteer opportunities in the garden, events and office.

Geographic Area Served

South Orange County

Our volunteers come from South Orange County commuities and our goal is to serve these communties through future park programs in Aliso Viejo, Dana Point, Ladera Ranch, Laguna Niguel, Mission Viejo, Rancho Mission Viejo, San Clemente, and San Juan Capistrano.  

Organization Categories

  1. Environment - Environmental Education
  2. Human Services - Developmentally Disabled Services/Centers
  3. Food, Agriculture & Nutrition - Agricultural Programs



Festival of the Butterflies

We will host a new annual event, Festival of the Butterflies, to celebrate our 10-year anniversary at the Los Rios Park in August 2019. Our goal is to increase awareness of the dire situation facing worldwide monarch butterfly populations which have decreased by 90% due to habitat destruction and use of pesticides. Our events includes environmental speakers focused on increasing pollinator populations, garden walking tours, plant sales, kids' crafts, a scavenger hunt, live music, food, and a petting zoo. This event celebrates our success in increasing butterfly habitats with seven of the native Orange County butterflies visiting our garden. We will highlight our sustainability practices used to ensure pollinators are supported, while not adding toxins to our local garden, protecting our waterways and community.

Budget  15,000
Category  Environment, General/Other Environmental & Sustainable Design
Population Served Families Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) Elderly and/or Disabled
Program Short-Term Success 

Our immediate success for this event will be demonstrated by large public attendance of 1200 individuals, continued engagement and support with the City of SJC, industry experts, and local merchants. We have established a Memorandum of Understanding (five-year contract) with the City to continue nurturing Los Rios Park gardens as we demonstrated our skills to establish and maintain a certified butterfly garden in a public park, provide free classes and workshops and educate community members. We will increase economic development through our event for local merchants and will help benefit our non-profit through our annual membership drive and fund-raising. Our goal is to grow our membership from 25 to 125 individuals during this event and to continue our monthly outreach through social media, newsletters and free monthly lectures.

Program Long-Term Success 

Having hosted our environmental event, Eco Garden Expo from 2014-2017, we demonstrated our effectiveness to educate and inform the community at alternative practices that sustain pollinators and environment. We will take this knowledge and concept and shape our new event to be an effective vehicle for local gardeners to increase knowledge of the issues facing monarchs and pollinators and the environment. Our past experience leads us to expect approximately 2500 individuals would attend and each subsequent year we hope to increase both attendees. From this event, our goal is to encourage 10% of our lecture attendees to take the pollinator plunge and become a citizen-scientists focused group to establish and monitor their own certified monarch butterfly garden. We will ensure they learn how to sustain pollinators and help spread the knowledge to other community members.

Program Success Monitored By 

From our past experience during our Eco Expo we learned that we did not have a membership drive to gather community data and grow our non-profit. We were not able to establish annual financial support or grow our membership community. Through our re-branding of our non-profit this year we have established a focus on membership growth and consolidating our efforts in one location to bring about the most impactful efforts on the importance of the plight of monarchs and other beneficial pollinators. We will gather information of attendees at points of entrance and during our membership drive at the event. We will follow-up through email contact and telephone outreach. Establishing a monthly citizen scientist meeting will enable us to monitor and track the effectiveness of our efforts to educate and enable community members to establish butterfly gardens.

Examples of Program Success 

We will document increased engagement of the community through attendees at the event and individuals becoming members of the non-profit.  We will be able to mark our success at the event through a simple count of community members who attend our event and will be able demonstrate annual growth of attendance.  We will seek feedback from the city officials and local merchants about increased revenues during August as this is a historically slow month for sales. 

Los Rios Garden Angel Program

The Los Rios Garden Angel Program began in 2009 at the time the park opened. The program began as a grass roots neighborhood garden group formed by resident Marianne Taylor of Goin Native to care and maintain the native plants around the Montanez Adobe in the park. Los Rios Park is located in the Historic District in San Juan Capistrano, which is the oldest residential street in California. In 2013, Goin Native Therapeutic Gardens was formed as a 501 c 3 to increase awareness of the native park, establish a certified butterfly garden and to help people find connection or healing in nature. Today the garden angels encompass over 50 volunteers each week, meeting on Thursday mornings 50 weeks out of the year. The populations that volunteer together to tend the gardens are adults from adult day programs from the Capistrano Unified School District, private adult day programs, recovery programs and the general public.The gardens are equalizers,we work as a team finding success in every step.
Budget  14,000
Category  Environment, General/Other Environmental & Urban Beautification
Population Served People/Families with People of Developmental Disabilities Families Alcohol, Drug, Substance Abusers
Program Short-Term Success  Our short term success is based on the thousands of visitors that flock to our gardens each week to emerse themselves. Our volunteers have beautified the park to the point of enticing photographers and people from all around for wedding, prom and holiday photos in the Los Rios Park Gardens. Our 50 plus garden volunteers are consistent and committed to giving two hours of service each Thursday morning. The attention to details and caring of plants while gently removing debris shows the love and care each volunteer gives to the garden. Tasks are shared, friendships are made, convivial conversations brighten the day. After ten years, the gardens are constantly changing giving us a new challenge each week. Volunteers problem solve, make decisions, create new ideas and share in the varied work loads. Collabortion is at its finest with our combined efforts.We may be all different but together we are the same completing the task at hand to leave the park better then when we found it.
Program Long-Term Success  Our long term success is measured by the ten years we have been established. We have converted and transformed eighteen gardens into native butterfly and pollinator habitats through the help of numerous volunteers and over 20,000 hours. With the partnership in 2013, with Capistrano Unified School District and the Adult Transition Workability Program, we have helped students find vocational opportunities with local retailers and golf course and have aided some students while in the garden emotionally and physical heal. School Psychologist have reported that two students who have never spoken found their voices while in our gardens. The garden heals. Our goal is to expand the remaining tweleve gardens transforming them into a butterfly and sensory gardens in the next year with the partnership with Saddleback College Horticulture Dept, Co Chair and student interns. We want to establish a yearly Internship program to further develop students understanding of Urban Design and Park Planning.
Program Success Monitored By  Our success is montored by the recognition we receive from the City of San Juan Capistrano City Council, City Manager, Local Merchants, Photographers, Residents and Newspaper articles about the butterfly gardens at the Los Rios Park. The gardens have thousands of vistors due to our garden care and efforst.  Each week our group connects in a postive way, engaging in conversation , laughter, work and play. We make a difference each week in a life and the plants we tend. We moniter human behavour and temperment while in the garden and moniter the plant life through observation. If each week both plant and person are doing well and thriving we know we are successful. Our goal is to encourage and help people and plants thrive together through acknowledgment and proper care. 
Examples of Program Success  --


CEO/Executive Director Marianne Taylor
CEO Term Start Dec 2013
CEO Email [email protected]
CEO Experience My background has been in private business and the service industry for over 30 years. In 2009, I created Goin Native a for-profit business to educate the community in environmental sustainability and gardening practices for well being through paid garden workshops, garden grill dinners, and creating a volunteer garden angel program at the newly opened Los Rios Park. In 2013, I transitioned the for-profit business to a non-profit 501(c)(3) renamed to Goin Native Therapeutic Gardens. Since 2013, we have given more then 15,000 hours of volunteer hands and hearts to aid the park and help people grow. It is our mission to continue this program helping and serve people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities. Our big idea vision is to take our successful park program to other cities in our state and throughout the USA.

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
John Taylor Jan 2015 June 2015
Karen Crocker Crocker Dec 2013 Dec 2014

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
-- -- --


Award Awarding Organization Year
Enviornmental Educator of the Year San Juan Capistrano City Council 2018
Public Stewardship Award for the Los Rios Park Angels enhancing "Quality of Life" American Society of Landscape Architects of Southern California 2010


Affiliation Year
-- --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --


  • City of San Juan Capistrano
  • Saddleback Community College: Horticulture Department
  • Capistrano Unified School District: Adult Transition Workability Program
  • OC Bridges: Adult Day Program
  • Abilities Unlimited: Adult Day Program
  • National Charity League
  • San Juan Capistrano Garden Club
  • Local Private and Public High School Students 
  • Rotary Club of San Juan Capistrano
  • Interact Club (Rotary-Affiliate)

Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 0
Number of Part Time Staff 1
Number of Volunteers 60
Number of Contract Staff 1
Staff Retention Rate % 100%
Staff Professional Development No

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: --
Asian American/Pacific Islander: --
Caucasian: 1
Hispanic/Latino: 1
Native American/American Indian: --
Other: --
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 2
Male: --
Not Specified --

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has Strategic Plan? Under Development
Years Strategic Plan Considers N/A
Management Succession Plan Under Development
Organization Policies And Procedures Yes
Business Continuity of Operations Plan Yes

Risk Management Provisions

Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes

Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? N/A
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency N/A N/A
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency N/A N/A
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency N/A N/A

Government Licenses


CEO Comments

We reorganized our non-profit management in 2019 to a majority volunteer/membership-based organization. We have a working volunteer board of directors; however, we are actively searching for a full-time paid Executive Director to head operations. We pay for contract service work, advertisement, and website management. Funds are used for operational costs of insurance, rent, utilities, and program supplies. We finance the non-profit through various annual fundraising and environmental one-day events, membership drives, garden workshops, plant sales, website sales, grants, and from in-kind, online, personal and board donations.

Foundation Comments



Board Chair Mary Crawford
Board Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Chair Term July 2019 - June 2021
Board Co-Chair Mary Crawford
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation Community Volunteer
Board Co-Chair Term July 2017 - June 2019

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Benafsha Abassi CEO, Voting
Patti Bishop Retired Voting
Mary Crawford Retired Voting
Pat Kenner Accountant Voting
Jerry Muir Architect, Muir Architect Voting
Yvonne Murai Farmer Voting
Jerry Neve Retired Voting
Ryan Perez CEO, OC Bridges Voting
Marcos Reyes Vice-President and Branch Manager, Farmers and Merchant Bank Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Additional Board Members and Affiliations

Name Company Affiliations Status
Ricardo Beas Proprietor, Ricardo's Place NonVoting
Robert Farnsworth Chair of Horticulture and Landscape Design, Saddleback College NonVoting
Thomas Ferruzzo Attorney, Ferruzzo & Ferruzzo, LLP NonVoting
Analee Kredel Chief of Special Education, Orange County Department of Education NonVoting
Dr. Mozelle Sukut Retired NonVoting

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 1
Caucasian: 5
Hispanic/Latino: 2
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 1 (Iranian)
Gender Female: 5
Male: 4
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 2
Board Term Limits 0
Board Meeting Attendance % 90%
Written Board Selection Criteria Under Development
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 100%
Board Orientation Yes

CEO Comments

The biggest concern stunting our growth is our financial limitations. Our goal with the upcoming summer annual event this year, the Festival of the Butterflies, is to capture more corporate sponsors, private donors, and increase our membership base to widen our reach. To meet these goals, we are creating a small retail market, a “butterfly café” serving food and drinks, and collaborating with local businesses to capture a greater audience and create more awareness of our garden programs and volunteer opportunities.

Foundation Comments


Standing Committees

  • Academic Affairs
  • Advisory Board / Advisory Council
  • Community Outreach / Community Relations
  • Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
  • Education
  • Finance


Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Fiscal Year July 01, 2019 to June 30, 2020
Projected Revenue $86,700.00
Projected Expenses $59,400.00
Form 990s

2017 GNTG 990 EZ

2016 GNTG 990 EZ

2015 GNTG 990 EZ

2014 GNTG 990 EZ

Audit Documents --
IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Total Revenue $104,894 $74,023 $53,676
Total Expenses $105,778 $74,501 $45,563

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Revenue By Revenue Source
Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$68,890 $25,000 $37,600
Government Contributions $0 $0 $0
    Federal -- -- $0
    State -- -- $0
    Local -- -- $0
    Unspecified -- -- $0
Individual Contributions -- $30,469 $0
Indirect Public Support -- -- $0
Earned Revenue $36,004 $3,497 $11,534
Investment Income, Net of Losses -- -- $4
Membership Dues -- -- $0
Special Events -- $15,057 $4,438
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other -- -- --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Expense By Type
Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Program Expense $104,968 $33,240 $30,421
Administration Expense $810 $41,261 $12,642
Fundraising Expense -- -- $2,500
Payments to Affiliates -- -- $0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 0.99 0.99 1.18
Program Expense/Total Expenses 99% 45% 67%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 0% 0% 6%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Total Assets $9,698 $9,716 $0
Current Assets $9,698 $9,238 $0
Long-Term Liabilities -- -- $0
Current Liabilities $1,344 -- $0
Total Net Assets $8,354 $9,238 --

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 7.22 inf nan

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% nan%
Endowment Value --
Spending Policy N/A
Percentage(If selected) --
Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose Not at this time, we will re-evaluate in the next fiscal year.
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? No

CEO Comments

Goin Native Therapeutic Gardens uses the local park as its classroom with a five-year contract with the City of San Juan Capistrano beginning in 2018. We are limited with our offerings and impact for well being. In the next five years we would like to rent a building that has a kitchen and small garden to offer more classes indoors with an afterschool outreach program to educate students with horticulture and culinary arts skills to local public and private elementary and high schools and adult day programs, beginning and advanced cooking classes while tending to a vegetable garden using produce supplied from garden. We believe working with a vast, and varied population creates understanding and promotes teamwork. A major goal for the upcoming fiscal year is to identify and collaborate with a corporate sponsor to advance our mission through financial stability.

Foundation Comments

Summary financial data is per the Form 990s and consultation with the organization. Foundation/corporate and individual contributions are combined under Foundation and Corporation Contributions.


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently available.