Grants and Scholarships


The Golden State Bonsai Federation (GSBF) is a non-profit organization formed for the purpose of promoting Bonsai as a living art form. In addition to an annual convention, publication of Golden Statements, shows and programs of individual clubs, two Bonsai Collections, the GSBF has a Grants & Scholarship Program. The program consists of three sections: a Plant a Seed Program, a Horticulture Scholarship and a Bonsai Teacher Development Program. The Bonsai Teacher Development Program was devised to attract members to learn the care and art of bonsai to advance their skills and knowledge so they can become teachers in the art of bonsai.

Plant-A-Seed Program

The Plant a Seed Program grants are $100.00 each. These grants are for the purpose of introducing bonsai to elementary school, high school, and college or university level horticulture students. Any GSBF member Club may nominate a candidate for the $100.00 Plant a Seed grant. The Grants and Scholarship Committee would need a letter from either the Club President, or a responsible spokesperson from GSBF introducing the candidate, and describing the candidate’s intended use of the grant. The recipient must use this grant money for bonsai expenses such as books, tools, plants or lessons.

Horticulture Scholarships

The Horticulture Scholarship Program is for a total of $400.00. The purpose of this scholarship is to encourage any serious bonsai artist/enthusiast to obtain an Ornamental Horticulture certificate or degree from an accredited school. The applicant must be a current member of a GSBF member Club and must be accepted by the school of their choice. The applicant must have a letter of recommendation from either their GSBF member Club President, or a responsible spokesperson from GSBF. The candidate will have a four year period in which to complete the horticulture program.

A yearly progress report must be submitted to the GSBF Grants & Scholarship Committee. If the program is to be completed in two years, then the grant money will be distributed at the rate of $200.00 per year. If the completion of the program is to take more than two years (but not more than four years) the money will be dispersed on a pro-rated basis.
Teacher Development

The Bonsai Teacher Development Program grants are $500.00 each. These grants must be matched by the recipient with his or her own funds of $250.00. The recipient must also agree to share their new knowledge with other GSBF member clubs upon completion of their grant program. The purpose of this program is to develop a group of new bonsai teachers for a more advanced level of instruction. The eligible candidate must be a serious, skilled bonsai artist/enthusiast. The applicant must be a current member of a GSBF member club, interested in sharing bonsai knowledge and skills with GSBF member clubs and individuals through workshops and demonstrations.

The Bonsai Teacher Development Program consists of an individual grant for the purpose of honing oneís bonsai skills through studies with a recognized California artist of the candidate’s choice (other than one’s own club instructor. The applicant must have both a written recommendation from either their GSBF member Club President, or a responsible spokesperson from GSBF, and a letter of approval from the selected bonsai artist. After the grant has been awarded, the recipient must submit periodic progress reports including receipts for the expenses incurred to the Grants & Scholarship Committee. Within two years after the completion of the study grant, the recipient shall fulfill the requirement of sharing their acquired knowledge by either lecturing or demonstrating for their own club (two times) and two for other GSBF member clubs totaling four demonstrations and/or workshops.

The following is an example of how the Bonsai Teacher Development grant can be applied. The recipient sets up a one, two or three day workshop with his/her selected bonsai instructor. The $500.00 grant award, plus the $250.00 matched by the recipient may be used to purchase material, to pay the instructor’s fees for the workshops, and to help pay for transportation and lodging costs. The Grants & Scholarship Committee will be providing a form to the recipient to show how the $750 was allocated.


We will notify all grant recipients of their application status as soon as the Grants and Scholarship Committee has reviewed the application. The checks, program materials and instructions will be sent to the recipient after the application approval.

The decision to award the grants and scholarships will be based on both the candidate’s qualifications and the Committee’s desire to balance regional participation in these programs. The GSBF hopes, in the spirit of these grants and scholarships, the recipients will in turn be generous with their time and effort in sharing their newly acquired bonsai knowledge with other bonsai enthusiasts.

Lastly, all letters of recommendations for specific grants and scholarships should include descriptions of the candidate’s bonsai experience and qualifications. That along with any other requests for information or applications of these programs should be submitted to:

Program Chair:
Jon Petrescu