Interview with George Patterson, Founder of Tofino Botanical Gardens, Vancouver Island

People Are Culture Podcast Interview Explores Vancouver Island & The Relationship Between Nature, Culture & Science

George Patterson is Founder & Director of Tofino Botanical Gardens on the west coast of Vancouver Island, which is located in the northeastern Pacific Ocean and is part of Canada's province of British Columbia. George founded Tofino Botanical Gardens in 1997 and its twelve acres of gardens, old growth forest, and shoreline explore the relationship between culture and nature.

George was a co-founder in 1991 of the Clayoquot Biosphere Project and has been involved in efforts to encourage research and educational activities in the area for more that twenty years. He served as a director of the Clayoquot Biosphere Trust for the first five years of the CBT’s existence.

George is a native of New Jersey and discovered a passion for plants through a bit of serendipity while studying Latin American history and literature at Harvard University. After stints with Bartlett's Tree Service and Arnold Arboretum, George owned an Interior and urban landscape design company in Boston for 17 years.  He came to Tofino 22 years ago by way of Costa Rica, where he established an arboretum. 

I know you’ll find enjoyable and inspiring George’s take on the relationship between culture, nature and science; the ‘War in the Woods’ that occurred in the Tofino area in the 1990s between the logging industry and activists; themes of moderation and believing in your vision; and the role of a garden as place to set the heart free.