Utah Street School

California Native Garden

L.A.'s Best and Theodore Payne Foundation Garden



Utah Street School’s Native Garden history began in the fall of 2013 when a group of 4th grade students approached the principal and asked him for help to raise funds for a garden. When the fundraiser was over, they had raised only $60.00 dollars. The principal saw their enthusiasm and began to look for organizations that could helped establish a garden at Utah Street Elementary. That year two organizations, Enrich LA and LA’s Best partner Thomas Payne Foundation, approached the principal with the plan to start two new gardens.


Utah Street Garden is placed in front of the library, and is a California Native Garden. It was placed there by LA’s Best after school program in partnership with the Theodore Payne Foundation. The Thomas Payne Foundation is at the forefront of many prominent changes in the city of Los Angeles. Their mission says, “To promote, preserve and restore California landscapes, and habitats
to propagate and make available California native plants and wildflowers to educate and acquire knowledge about California flora and natural history.


The California Native Garden ties in perfectly with California history and environment.  In response, Fourth grade students study California’s natural plants that benefit the environment. The California garden is optimal place to teach and learn how native plants offer water conservation, food and shelter for native species, soils that don’t require pesticides, reduce maintenance and cool the environment. An LA’s Best employee, Mr. Flores, who visits our classroom, has educated us and with his help we have learned to propagate seeds, weed, water and maintain the garden.


Since 2013, all students are welcome in the garden. The students of room 16 welcome all visitors during their recess to help with the maintenance of the garden. We hope that the garden offers a welcoming and respectful environment not only to wild species, but also to the boys and girls whose dreams of a garden became a reality at Utah Street School.


For more info of our history see LA Times article-http://www.latimes.com/brandpublishing/localplus/schooloflife/la-ss-slo-enrichlas-studenttended-gardens-feed-communities-and-minds-20150310dto-story.html


Blog by Ranger Claire Heddles



For more info on California Native Gardens please visit the website,