Planting native gardens at L.A. urban schools

February 27th, 2014 · by Garrison Frost


Audubon teen volunteers recently joined with students and parents to plant native gardens at four Los Angeles Schools — San Pascual Elementary School, Latona Elementary School, Arroyo Seco Museum Magnet School, and Aldama Elementary School. The teen volunteers had been brought together from the Audubon Center at Debs Park and three area chapters (Los Angeles Audubon, Pasadena Audubon, and Palos Verdes / South Bay Audubon) to learn how to create native habitat in their communities.


Many of the teens leading the planting projects had actually attended the participating schools, so this offered a way to give back. At the first planting, at San Pascual Elementary School in late January, more than 75 students, parents, and teachers participated in the planting and cheered on the volunteers. The schools have committed to use the gardens as outdoor learning spaces where they can talk about native plants, water conservation, pollinators, and otherwise creatively engage with the space.


The Arroyo Green Team from the Audubon Center at Debs Park helped coordinate the Garden Day at San Pascual Elementary School on Jan. 25. “This living laboratory is significant as San Pascual transforms into a school with an environmental science emphasis,” said Sharon Nakata, the school’s resource specialist. “Families were delighted having a Saturday event that allowed many of our parents in the landscaping business to lend their expertise, and as a result, Mr. Domingo Ramirez and family sponsored and planted a vegetable garden for our school.


“Having experienced first-hand on the joy of uniting as one and working together to pursue a greener, more sustainable future through planting natives, really opened my eyes to the power we have as individuals in making a change for the better,” said Diego, a member of the Debs Park Arroyo Green Team. “Although planting native plants, to some, may seem to be insignificantly minute, I saw the grinning smiles of young children, and the equally bright faces of adults as each salvia and toyon plant was dug into the earth.”


Categories: Audubon California · Audubon Center at Debs Park · Bird Habitat · Bird L.A.

2 Comments so far ↓

  • Jerry Schneider

    Wow! What a great project!

    Student volunteers mentoring and giving back to their elementary schools will educate and encourage more youth to work for our environment.

    Planting native gardens saves water and provides habitat. Both are critical in this drought.

  • Nancy Freedland

    So glad to see older students helping younger students, and them all learning about nature, botany, climate, and more. This should be happening in all elementary schools.