International Award of Honor, 2013
Mike Evans -‐ Co-‐Owner and President, Tree of Life Nursery, San Juan Capistrano, California
Mike Evans was born and raised in southern California and demonstrated an early love for the outdoors. He worked with several nurseries both retail and wholesale, before establishing his own nursery business. Tree of Life Nursery was founded by Mike Evans in San Juan Capistrano, California in 1976. Tree of Life began as a wholesale nursery/landscape contracting firm propagating and growing California native plants and specializing in authentic garden design for southern California, as licensed contractors. In 1981, a partnership was formalized between Mike Evans and Jeff Bohn. At that time the contractor's license status was changed to "inactive" and the company is no longer in the contracting business. In 1986, the nursery moved from a 4-‐acre leasehold on the Lacouague Ranch in San Juan Capistrano to its current location on Rancho Mission Viejo. In 2001, the company was incorporated in the state of California. The entire focus since 1981 has been propagation, production and wholesale supply of California native plants for landscape and ecological restoration.
Mike has been involved in water conservation during the 1980's as a founding member of the Xeriscape committee through Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. He received the Xeriscape Award in 1986. In addition, he has been active in the California Native Plant Society, the California Botanical Society, and The Nature Conservancy. He served on the horticultural committee for The Jepson Manual project, the definitive California flora published in1993.
Mike is one of the original board members on the Richard and Donna O'Neill Land Conservancy in San Juan Capistrano. He also serves as President of the Board for the Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens in San Clemente, and formerly the San Juan Capistrano Historical Society. Mike is Chairman of the Board for the Reserve at Rancho Mission Viejo, a 20,000-‐acre land conservancy in Orange County, California.
With his experience in native plant production, design, landscaping, and ecological restoration, Mike Evans advocates a present-‐day California that deserves to look like the true "California." Mike often is called on to write or lecture on the subject. His hobbies include hiking, surfing, photography, music, reading and writing. He serves as pastor of a Spanish language Christian church in San Juan Capistrano.
Mike Evans is a California Certified Nurseryman and Tree of Life has been an active member of the California Association of Nurserymen (C.A.N.) since 1976. He has served on the C.A.N. Research Committee and the Environmental Resource Management Subcommittee. Tree of Life Nursery is a founding member of the National Wildflower Research Center based in Austin, Texas. Mike is affiliated with numerous conservation, horticultural and botanical organizations.