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Weyerhaeuser donates Pacific Rim Bonsai Collection to Tacoma foundation
After Weyerhaeuser courted proposals last year for one of Federal Way’s top cultural and tourist attractions, the company has donated its Pacific Rim Bonsai Collection.
The collection - which features 60 miniature potted trees shaped by artists- will go to the George Weyerhaeuser Pacific Rim Bonsai Collection, a separate nonprofit corporation and supporting organization of The Greater Tacoma Community Foundation.
The bonsai collection will remain at Weyerhaeuser’s corporate headquarters in Federal Way.
“As the person who launched this collection 24 years ago, it’s very rewarding to see it remain a part of Weyerhaeuser Company’s legacy,” said George Weyerhaeuser, Sr. “The company has successfully stewarded it into one of the premiere collections in the world. I look forward to watching the collection continue to grow and enrich all who visit it.”
Sara Kendall, Weyerhaeuser vice president of corporate affairs and sustainability, said the company is “pleased” to donate the collection to the newly formed George Weyerhaeuser Pacific Rim Bonsai Collection. The donation “allows for the collection’s storied history with the Weyerhaeuser Company and the South Sound community to continue, and ensures the protection of this significant collection for decades to come.”
As a supporting organization, the bonsai collection is a separate legal entity and eligible to be qualified as a section 501(c)(3) organization with its own governing instruments and its own board of directors, the majority of whom the foundation will appoint. The Bonsai Collection joins Lakewold Gardens and the Western Forest Industry Museum as the foundation’s third supporting organization.
“This partnership affords us the opportunity to help preserve a cherished cultural treasure and bring more people to the region to enjoy the beautiful offerings of the South Sound,” said Rose Lincoln Hamilton, president and CEO of The Greater Tacoma Community Foundation.
Currently, the collection attracts more than 30,000 visitors annually.
In addition to support from Weyerhaeuser, the foundation has awarded a $142,000 grant from the Donald R. and Mary E. Williams Horticulture Fund to assist the bonsai collection in achieving self-sufficiency.
“This grant is a wonderful opportunity for the community foundation to meet the intentions that Don and Mary established through their horticulture fund,” said Kit Severson, chair of the Donald R. and Mary E. Horticulture grants committee. “It fits perfectly with their fund’s directive to support ‘the study or growing of flowers, ornamental plants and trees,’ and aligns with the Williams’s personal interest in Asian gardens.”
“Great companies create great legacies. This generous gift from Weyerhaeuser will be embraced and cared for by generations of South Sound residents,” said Bruce Kendall, president and CEO of the Economic Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce County.
The bonsai collection first opened in 1989, in conjunction with the Washington state centennial celebration. It features outstanding bonsai trees from Pacific Rim nations and is praised as one of the top bonsai collections in the country.
Visitors are welcomed year round, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, at 33663 Weyerhaeuser Way S., Federal Way.