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John Hays McLaren


1846 - 1943

Horticulturist who laid out the Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, one of the largest public parks in the world. Born in Bannockburn (Stirling), McLaren was an apprentice at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh before emigrating to the USA in 1870. He was appointed Golden Gate Park's second Superintendent in 1887 and dedicated the reminder of his life to its development. A friend of conservationist John Muir (1838 - 1914), McLaren was credited with planting two million trees during his lifetime. He was also commissioned to design a park in the town of Ashland (Oregon) in 1914.

He lived in McLaren Lodge, in Golden Gate Park, until his death at the age of 96. McLaren Park in the south of San Francisco is named after him, as is a street in the Sea Cliff district of the city. He was also awarded an honorary degree by the University of California at Berkeley.


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