Steven S. Koblik, president of the Huntington Library and botanical gardens, has emailed a report that the grounds in San Marino suffered extensive damage. He asks for donations to help in cleanup and restoration.
Many of you have asked how The Huntington fared after the extraordinary windstorms that buffeted Southern California and especially the San Gabriel Valley. Unfortunately, The Huntington was significantly affected. We believe that by the time we finish with debris removal, as many as 100 specimen trees from the collections will have been lost (more than 50 major trees are down; many others have been so badly damaged they will have to be removed). Large areas have been closed to visitors pending safety assessments for weak and broken limbs. Fortunately, there were no injuries, and only minor damage to structures and garden statuary.
As I write, the Gardens staff is fully involved in clearing, removing, and grinding debris into mulch. Among the high priorities are opening safe walkways in the gardens and clearing the parking lot and perimeter areas. Work will be ongoing at full capacity for weeks, if not months. At the same time, we'll begin the process of renewing the affected gardens.
We have received a number of inquiries from people asking how to help ease the financial burden of the cleanup and renewal process, which will likely be under way for an extended period of time. In response, we have created a special fund for this purpose to enable work to continue without pause. We are able to fund a portion of the work through the generosity of the bequest from the late Frances Brody, but the total costs are likely to be quite significant. Several historic tree canopy areas were heavily impacted in the North Vista, Jungle, Japanese, and Australian gardens. But on the bright side, we-ve already started to propagate a series of plant specimens-tabebuia, acacias, and cypress pines among them. Donations will make an important difference, and we welcome involvement from those who are moved to help. The new fund is being affectionately called HARP-the Huntington Arboreal Recovery Project. We look forward to emerging from this as quickly as possible so that all of our garden areas will once again be available to visitors seeking beauty, splendor, and respite in this very special place that is The Huntington.
Meanwhile, we wish you and your families all the best and hope that your own experience was bearable and that you are recovering quickly.
Donations may be made securely online ( http://huntington.pmailus.com/pmailweb/ct?d=TjeRRgGhAAEAAAm5AAWsBQ ) (please add "HARP" to comments field)
or mail donation to:
The Huntington Library
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, CA 91108
Attn: Advancement Office - HARP Fund
Limited areas of the Huntington grounds reopened to visitors on Sunday.
Photo: The Huntington