and in less than a year had 550 members who paid between $100 and
$1,000 to join.
In 1994, they employed Todd Richardson, an instructor in Rad-
cliffe College’s landscape design program in Cambridge, Massachu-
setts, and 14 of his students, who determined they needed at least 100
acres to meet the requirements of their garden. A failed 128-acre housing
subdivision that already had roads and underground utilities, a diverse
topography, 3,600 feet of coastal frontage, two ponds, a vernal pool,
and a couple of streams would fill the bill. The group bought the land
for $500,000 using $40,000 in cash on hand and the deeds to mem-
bers’ houses as collateral to finance the rest. The sale was completed on
December 15, 1995, and they opened the gardens for trail walks.
In 2001, with a conceptual plan for a 21st-century botanical garden in hand, the board hired Tom Flood as executive director. His two-