The legacy of Cypress Lawn’s Memorial Park can be traced back over 130 years to our founder, Hamden Holmes Noble.
In 1892, our Memorial Park began with the goal to provide a beautiful place for families in the Bay Area to memorialize their loved ones. This same noble goal remains with our compassionate staff to this day.
At that time, San Francisco city officials passed a law essentially “evicting” the dead from city limits. Real estate was in hot demand — which may feel akin to today’s housing market — and many community members didn’t want cemeteries taking up valuable space in the city.
During a pivotal carriage ride, Noble’s friend pointed out an existing cemetery that was in extensive disrepair and insisted he should find a solution. Noble knew there had to be a better way and began researching the rural and lawn park cemeteries along the East Coast.
Noble’s goal was to create a similar aesthetic on the West Coast, so he planted many trees, some of which are still alive today. These trees are part of the living wonders of our Arboretum collection, featuring over 100 species and nearly 3,000 individual trees. Our Arboretum boasts an impressive gathering of trees indigenous to nearly every continent on planet Earth (the only exception is Antarctica).
This international selection of trees sets Cypress Lawn apart from other botanical gardens around San Francisco. It was an honor for Cypress Lawn to receive Level I Arboretum accreditation from Morton Arboretum’s international ArbNet program, and our team consistently strives to improve preservation techniques.
Our Arboretum Director, Josh Gevertz, launched in-person Tree Tours to allow guests the opportunity to explore and learn more about the origin and history of the many trees found at Cypress Lawn.
Our passion doesn’t just stop with the trees — we’re also planning for the next 100 years. Josh and his team are regularly working to ensure the preservation, restoration, and curation of every tree located across our multiple campuses.
Sometime this year, we hope you’ll take time to visit Cypress Lawn’s Arboretum to pause, exhale, and reflect upon what’s most important.
Trees are powerful symbols of renewal, and we believe Cypress Lawn is a place where both the young and old can appreciate their beauty while celebrating and enjoying life together. We are proud to continue our legacy of faithful community service for years to come and invite you and your family to join us. Click here to see our latest list of events.