About Friends of Maclay Gardens

The Friends of Maclay Gardens, Inc.  is a non-profit citizen’s support organization for Maclay Gardens State Park. It is a volunteer community group dedicated to the protection and preservation of the historic Maclay House and Gardens, and the surrounding park lands. Community support helps build a strong constituency for this unique resource and raise funds for restoration, preservation and capital projects.

The Gardens were first planted in the 1930s by Alfred B. Maclay, a wealthy New York banker who made his winter home in Tallahassee. After his death in 1953, Mrs. Maclay gave the Gardens to the State of Florida with the understanding that they be preserved as Mr. Maclay had designed them and open for the public to enjoy. Park land surrounding the Gardens offers recreational sites for swimming and wooded trails for hiking, jogging, bicycling and horse-back riding.


Friends of Maclay Gardens, Inc. assist the Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park in many ways. Accomplishments include:

  • Providing financial and volunteer assistance for programs and workshops presented by the park including: Camellia Christmas, Kids Fishing Day, Literacy events, Kids Gardening Day and other programs presented for educational and recreational purposes.
  • Sponsoring and presenting special events to raise funds and increase public awareness of the park, including an annual Tour of Gardens, now in its 24th year, Jazz in the Gardens, an annual Scarecrow exhibit in October
  • Purchasing property adjacent to the park on Maclay Road to enhance the optimum park boundary.
  • Constructing an accessible wildlife viewing platform on the southern side of Lake Overstreet.
  • Financing repairs to the cooling system in the greenhouse and provide materials for plant propagation. Provided landscaping design and installation assistance for park entrance areas and continue to provide replacement plants in all areas of the historic Gardens.
  • Purchasing a 6 passenger golf cart to facilitate access for people with disabilities.
  • Purchasing a portable lighting system for evening and early morning events such as Moon Over Maclay and the Red Hills Triathlon.
  • Providing equipment and amenities for the park on an on-going basis, when the park budget does not cover needed items. Some examples include computers, software and scanners for documentation of historic records, office furnishings, materials needed for volunteer support and field equipment such as binoculars for interpretive programs.
  • Helping finance wayfinding signs and provide materials for stabilization of Lake Overstreet Trails.

To get involved or learn more about the exciting things we’re doing to protect, preserve and increase public awareness of Maclay Gardens, contact us or join our email list.

Friends of Maclay Gardens Code of Ethics