Updated: Jul 31, 2021
To welcome the Spring Solstice, we held an event on March 13th and cleaned, restored, and planted plants in a garden bed in our Hollywood Community. We couldn't think of a better way to celebrate spring than beautifying and restoring the integrity, beauty, & its original intention of a space like so. Unfortunately, the environment of trash and weeds were an invitation for more waste, more disrespect, and completely disrupted the flow of good energy, and instead collected the bad. As it continued to degrade up until this point, we couldn't wait to get our hands on this mess!
We first started the day off by cleaning up the nearby areas and streets as there is high traffic area within the community. The tunnel down the street from the garden bed connects both neighborhoods on each side of the freeway and leads its way to the neighborhood park, Lemongrove Park. Unfortunately, it's typical to find broken glass, litter, and bulk trash in its path for families, pets, and the community to step over. This first day, we cleared about 15 bags of trash and created a bulk trash pile ready for neighborhood's next trash collection. Two weeks after on the 26th, we finished the job and returned with a smaller crew and also cleaned up the other side of the tunnel clearing another 30 bags, and removing another huge pile of bulk trash! Take a peek of our progress, here!
After we cleaned the nearby streets, we concentrated our efforts to the garden bed. The first steps were to throw away the trash and debris, and then removed all the weeds and turned the soil. It was so exciting to find some worms in this dirt, which is a great sign of fertile, healthy soil and a great foundation to a garden bed! Between ourselves and our Plants for People community, we gathered about 30 drought tolerant plants, such as cactus, birds of paradise, succulents, aloe and agave. We continued with the process, and for a couple people, it was the first time they learned to transplant plants from a pot to their new home! It was such a great time, and we wrapped up around 4 PM that day, after starting at 10 AM. Did you see our IG post showing before and after?
We especially wanted to give a huge thank you to fellow community initiative Regenerative Collective, who donated 9 plants that are naturally native to Los Angeles, such as black sage, native sunflower and mule fat. Lastly, we added small signs, decor, books, and trinkets that we will continue to add to over time! The plants are small now, but with patience, love, and attention it will bloom beautifully!
It's quite the humble reminder that the most amazing and meaningful things start small, within a community sharing a common goal, being creative with the resources we have access to, and to continue, grow and better over time.
Each time we return to the garden bed, we're greeted with more neighbors in the community. It feels so connecting and fulfilling to finally meet, learn from, and listen to the people on the other side of the walls of our houses, that separate us apart. Funny how these walls can be, as this physical separation can just be enough for some people to believe they have no connection with their neighbors or others in their community. After more discussion with them, we learned that this area previously used to be a homeless encampment and in much worse shape. Many times, the residents in this neighborhood has asked the city of Los Angeles for help to clean this area up and was unfortunately met with little to no effort and if there was any, it was in an untimely manner. It was clear to themselves that if they wanted this area clean, they had to do it themselves. That's when residents Tomas and Daniel decided to start cleaning up the areas and plant their own plants, fruit trees, brushes and shrubs along the street, right next to the garden bed we recently restored. Actually, their plants and goodwill, passion and dedication to our community is the original source of inspiration that sparked us to restore the nearby garden bed! That's a testimony of how good energy works: it's often started by others, and eventually gets picked up and spread out!
Want to Help?
Volunteer your time
Every 2 weeks we return to maintain the space, water the plants, and pick up any surrounding trash. We're looking for people to volunteer their time to help us out with these duties! Contact us HERE!
Sponsor a Rock
Sponsor a rock for any amount and we will paint your quote or design of your choice alongside with your Instagram tag. We will display the rock in the garden bed and use all proceeds to upkeep this space or other Plants for People projects.
Sponsor a rock HERE, add a note of your requested design!
Monetary donations via Paypal @PlantsForPeopleOrg
Plant bed donations (garden tools, seeds, nutrients, garden accessories, garden decor, trinkets, and accessories, books for our leave a book, take a book, signs, boulders, etc.)
Sponsored Rock Examples