We believe that quality of life and the health of the environment are interdependent and that an understanding of nature improves the lives of individuals.
We provide educational opportunities and interactive experiences that inspire people to be good stewards of their communities and the world.
What’s In a Name?
The short answer is …. EVERYTHING! At the annual planning meeting of the Board of Trustees in December 2012, it was decided that we would start referring to ourselves primarily as Beech Creek Gardens.
As many of you know, we have been operating for years as Beech Creek Botanical Garden & Nature Preserve. As volunteers and staff members spoke to and interacted with the local community, many of us found ourselves shortening our name to simply “Beech Creek Gardens”.
In addition, as we have grown over the years, our mission and goals have helped reshape and redefine our projects, attractions, programs, and community outreach. The Board of Trustees feel that Beech Creek Gardens is an easier name to use and is less restrictive identifying what we are.
The Origin Story
Beech Creek Gardens was originally known as The Botanical Garden Association, or BGA for short. The BGA was formed in 1999 by a group of people from several surrounding counties with the concern and desire to create a facility where education of horticulture and the environment would be the primary focus.
The property that first became known as Beech Creek Botanical Garden & Nature Preserve was purchased in March, 2003 with a grant from the Ohio Public Works Clean Ohio Fund and a donation of land value by the owners, the Mille family.
What is Beech Creek?
Beech Creek Gardens is located on a 175 acre site in Stark County’s Washington Township, in the heart of northeastern Ohio. The site has some outstanding features including Beech Creek, for which the property is named. The Beech Creek is a head-water tributary of the Mahoning River and crosses the property. Prior water quality tests were rated good to excellent. The terrain and vegetation are diverse with approximately 70% of the land being forested, and over 150 species of native plants.
Board of Trustees
Beech Creek Gardens is governed by a volunteer board of officers and trustees. The officers and trustees bring many years of experience from various organizations and industries. This diverse knowledge helps the Board refine Beech Creek‘s mission, prioritize projects, and develop and implement educational programs and site attractions. This helps provide a broad impact on the lives of Stark County residents and surrounding communities.
Current Board Members
- Paul Carmichael, Executive Director
- Melinda Carmichael, Associate Director
- Diane Johnson-Keller, President
- Craig Sonntag, Vice President
- Daniel Callahan, Treasurer
- Rebecca Lewis, Secretary
- Allison Allsopp, Trustee
- Becky Callahan, Trustee
- William Downs, Trustee
- Robert Frato, Trustee
- Perry Mann, Trustee
A list of summary Board Member profile can be found here.
Beech Creek Gardens is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization, under IRS and Treasury Department regulations. The nonprofit 501(c)(3) designation letter is dated June 18,2002. Thus the IRS letter refers to the original organization name at that time, The Botanical Garden Association, Inc.
As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, your donations of money or goods and services may be tax-deductible. However, you should consult a tax professional to ensure compliance.