Brookside Gardens' staunch supporters are the Friends of Brookside Gardens. This is a not-for-profit corporation with the official name Friends of Brookside Gardens, Inc. and referred to as FOBG. FOBG was incorporated in 1996 and has maintained a strong, supportive relationship with Brookside Gardens for the past 22 years.

The purpose of FOBG is to assist directly and indirectly Brookside Gardens, a facility of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (MNCPPC) in the accomplishment of its programs of demonstration and display gardens and horticultural education for all citizens of the area This not-for-profit group is organized exclusively for charitable and educational purposes within the meaning of Section 501 (C) (3) of the Internal Revenue Service Code. In  addition, FOBG encourages contributions of financial, technical, professional, cultural and other resources for use in the enhancement of Brookside Gardens and its programs for current and future generations.

The overall business of FOBG is managed by a Board of Directors of not less than 10nor more than 15 members. The Director of Brookside Gardens or his/her designee serves as a non-voting ex officio member of the Board. The Board is responsible for developing policies, setting categories of membership, setting the amount of dues and developing long range plans in consultation with representatives of Brookside Gardens. Board members are elected for a 2 year term. Nine of those electedserve a 1 year term. Board members are eligible for reelection for no more than 3 consecutive terms. After a 1 year hiatus, a previous Board member may serve again.

Since its inception, FOBG has donated more than $1 million to the Gardens! Friends’ financial support of the Gardens has been invaluable, especially during recent lean years when some important and popular offerings were threatened with budget cuts.

FOBG has also backed new programs that have been developed by Brooksidse Gardens' staff and has played a vital role both in its implementation and success. FOBG has been quite generous in providing support for garden operations, including funding for garden renovations.

FOBG members enjoy manybenefits including discounted rates on many of BrooksideGardens’ adult and children’s programs, the Visitor’s Center gift shops at the gardens plus discounts at area nurseries and garden centers. For more details see the membership page. 


FOBG Board of Directors. Front Row L to R: Carla Adam, Suzanne Carbone, Julia Horman, Joe Ann Stenstrom,  Joan O’Rourke, Kathy Kircher. Back Row L to R: Stephanie Oberle, Elaine Dynes, Nithya Raghavan, Barbara Waite-Jaques,  Barbara Schwarz, Coriolana Simon.  Not in picture: Carole Galati, Freddi Hammerschlag, Gloria Sherman,  Betsy Thomas.

The current FOBG Board of Directors includes the following members:
Carla Adam: President
Joe Ann Stenstrom: Vice-President; Marketing Committee; Brooksider
Joan O’Rourke: Founding President; Chair, Plant Sale
Barbara Schwarz: Chair, Marketing Committee; Chair: Silent Auction Procurement
Suzanne Carbone: Marketing Committee; Chair: Silent Auction
Carole Galati: Membership, Marketing
Freddi Hammerschlag: Brooksider
Julia Horman: Treasurer; Membership
Kathy Kircher: Membership: Co-chair: Silent Auction
Nithya Raghavan:  Webmaster; Plant Sale; Photographer
Gloria Sherman: Chair, Orchid Show & Sale
Betsy Thomas: Ex Officio, Grant Committee
Barbara Waite-Jaques: Secretary,  Past President
Stephanie Oberle: Director, Brookside Gardens

Suzanne Carbone, sums up Friends’ support of the Gardens: “Brookside Gardens is one of the Washington metro areas most popular and beautiful public gardens. It is a source of inspiration, a place for enjoyment, exercise, and education for thousands of people representing the diverse community of Montgomery County and the region. The Friends of Brookside Gardens takes great pride in supporting the Gardens through a wide array of programs and services, recognizing as we do that the value of public gardenscannot be underestimated. Brookside Gardens energizes and enriches everyone who experiences it.

Friends of Brookside Gardens 1800 Glenallan Avenue, Wheaton, MD 20902-1369
 Email address:
 Web site URL:
 Phone: 301-962-1435 (voice messages are checked once daily.)