Just up the road from Avalon, Santa Catalina Island’s main village (and port), is the 38-acre Wrigley Memorial & Botanic Garden.
William Wrigley Jr. (1861-1932), founder of the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company, largest manufacturer of chewing gum in the world, was instrumental in the development of Santa Catalina Island, buying roughly 90 percent of the island and protecting it as a private land conservancy. With its commanding view of Avalon Bay, the Wrigley Memorial is the centerpiece of the Botanic Garden. It was built in 1933-34 by the Chicago architecture firm Bennett, Parsons and Frost, who also designed Chicago's Buckingham Fountain.
The Garden places a special emphasis on California island endemic plants -- that is, plants which grow naturally on one or more of the California islands, but nowhere else in the world. Many of these plants are extremely rare, and some are on the Endangered Species list.
The Botanic Garden is the primary gateway to access one of the Island's most popular hikes, the Garden to Sky Trail.
In 1996, the Wrigley Memorial Garden Foundation merged with the Catalina Island Conservancy. This was a natural combining of two important ecological organizations, both dedicated to the protection and restoration of Santa Catalina Island.