Bruce Ritter, O.D. grew up on Long Island, New York. An early love of plants and gardening led him to become a volunteer for the orchid collection at Planting Fields Arboretum, in Oyster Bay, NY. He then joined the greenhouse staff, where he worked for several years, followed by a stint at Seabreeze Orchids in Bayville NY. Dr. Ritter received his undergraduate degree in botany at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Binghamton, and went on to obtain a doctorate in optometry at SUNY College of Optometry in New York City. He is currently a consultant to the Folsom Chinese Heritage Museum’s Chinese Garden, now under construction.
Dr. Ritter has been growing orchids for 45 years and served on the board of the Sacramento Orchid Society for two years. He has travelled around the world, drawing inspiration from over forty botanical gardens and arboreta that he has visited in Hawaii, Central America, Europe, and even down under, in New Zealand and Fiji. He plans to use this experience and his love of beautiful gardens to create a botanical garden on par with the best in the world.
Dr. Ritter is delighted to be returning to his “roots” as the co-founder of the Sacramento Botanical Garden.
Linda Ching, O.D. was born and raised in Sacramento, and graduated from John F. Kennedy high school. She attended UC Berkeley as an undergrad, before she moved to New York City, where she received her doctorate in optometry from the SUNY College of Optometry.
Dr. Ching’s super-power is her ability to creatively resource ideas and connect people, motivating them to break down their barriers. She is the founder of SUNY Optometry’s Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity organization, which for thirty-three years has been delivering eye care worldwide to underprivileged communities. This legacy continues to be the largest student organization on the campus.
A co-founder of the Sacramento Botanical Garden, she met Bruce Ritter on the corner of 24th Street and Park Avenue in Manhattan, NY. After decades of practicing as an optometrist, she changed careers to become a life coach, which is how Bruce’s dream of creating a Botanical Garden in Sacramento was born. Dr. Ching is an avid cyclist, yoga instructor, proud mother of two young adult children, and a twenty-gallon blood donor. She is a member of Toastmasters organization where she has achieved the status of “Advanced Communicator Bronze”.
Dr. Ching is a consultant for the Folsom Historical Society’s new Chinese Heritage Museum Project, which is “dedicated to telling the rich and complex history of the Chinese in Folsom and in California.” She is particularly thrilled with the idea of creating a Chinese garden, similar to the Lan Su Chinese Garden in Portland, which will recognize the great contributions of the Chinese to our city and state.
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