The SouthCoastBotanic Garden, "The Jewel of the Peninsula", is located on the beautiful PalosVerdesPeninsula, in California. The garden is located 10 miles south of the LosAnglesAirport. Conveniently located to many SouthBay communities, this 87-acre Botanic Garden has more than 2,000 different species of plants from as far away as Australia and southern Africa. The wide variety of plant life provides food and shelter to an abundant bird population. Over 200 species of birds are sighted annually. We are a bird and wildlife sanctuary.
It's amazing to think that at one point in time, the SouthCoastBotanic Garden was covered by the Pacific Ocean. In the ocean were vast populations of single cell algae called diatoms. As the diatoms died they settled to the floor of the ocean and collected, leaving behind a sediment known as crude diatomite.
Most people remember this site as a refuse dump, but even before that it was an open pit mine, producing diatomaceous earth. During the early 1900's the Dicalite Company began mining, but at this time it was mostly surface mining. In 1944 the mine was sold to the Great Lakes Carbon Company and mining began in earnest.
By 1956, production of the mine declined and the site was sold to the County of Los Angeles. From the very beginning, the county planned to utilize the best possible technology and to reclaim the land for future use. In the meantime, the site was used as a sanitary landfill to help meet the County's growing landfill needs.
In 1961, private citizens, headed by Frances Young, prevailed upon the CountyBoard of Supervisors to convert this site into a botanic garden. It was an exciting experiment in land reclamation. In April 1961, the first major planting took place with over 40,000 donated plants. Since then, our plant collection has significantly increased.