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Los Angeles Parks Foundation

Native Plant Demonstration Garden in LA's Iconic Griffith Park

Within Griffith Park's historic Commonwealth Nursery, we're planting the seeds for an urban environmental center to educate the public and promote sustainable landscapes. Your gift today helps create a beautiful garden that will inspire Los Angeles.
raised of US$100,000 target
by 15 supporters
RCN 262358338

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As a key step in realizing the ecological and educational goals of the Griffith Park Urban Environmental Center at the site of the historic Commonwealth Nursery, the landscape surrounding the Nursery House affords a much-needed opportunity to demonstrate sustainable landscaping in keeping with environmental best practices and the Urban Wilderness Identity of Griffith Park.

By showcasing an ecologically-sound landscape and hands-on "seed-to-landscape" nursery classroom, it will enable us to create an outdoor learning environment meant to engage the Los Angeles community in native plant horticulture and provide a multi-faceted and dynamic model from which other landscape projects throughout Los Angeles can benefit.

This project is a collaboration among the Los Angeles Parks Foundation, the Department of Recreation and Parks, and The Nature Conservancy. Special thanks to Grown in LA and Studio MLA for initial design and site work contributions.

Highlighted Project Features

+ Fire-wise and Formal Garden Area: Ember-resistant zone (ERZ) and defensible space featured around both Nursery House and Garage, non-combustible seating, fire-wise native plants, shade garden, water-efficient low volume sprinklers, recirculating fountain, and rooftop sprinklers.

+ Water Capture and Stormwater Management: Rain barrels along Nursery and House and Garage, existing dry streambed extended/modified, rain downspouts diverted underground to streambed and to irrigate garden areas, and permeable driveway to reduce run-off.

+ Repurposed and Upcycled: On-site materials and Park "waste" such as broken concrete or other nursery and/or urban debris repurposed and incorporated into the design.

+ Local to LA: More than 50% of the plants sourced from permitted local seed collections and grown on site, specifically highlighting species indigenous to Griffith Park/Los Angeles.

+ Seed-to-Landscape Nursery: Hands-on demonstration and community engagement area with work tables, farm sink, shadehouse for seedlings, and full-sun plant bump-up area.

+ Aromatic Garden & Hedges: Native plants with aromatic leaves, native hedge demonstration with large, evergreen shrubs left to grow with natural form, as well as formal native hedge demonstration.

+ Fruit Forest: Existing greywater-fed fruit trees supported by a soon-to-be-installed hugelkultur berm featuring pollinator-attracting native perennials.

+ Milkweed and Wildflower Corner: Raised planter area with large terra cotta pots acting as retaining wall and featuring native wildflowers of Griffith Park. Local milkweed for Monarch butterflies growing in on-site canoe on display.

+ Hillside Restoration: Demonstration of hillside native planting strategies for erosion control and habitat enhancement.

+ Oak Understory & Cactus Garden: Oak-associated native plants for shade underneath two mature existing coast live oaks. Adjacent existing non-native cacti/succulent garden enhanced with native cacti/succulent species.

+ Conservation Seed Farm: Monoculture of chosen native species for Griffith Park conservation and seed farming, as well as regular seed harvesting from landscape as part of native plant propagation education and workshops.

Want to learn more about this project?

Please contact project manager Katherine Pakradouni ( or LAPF Executive Director Carolyn Ramsay ( for more information.

About the charity

Parks are an essential component of what constitutes a great city! Our organization's mission is to enhance, expand, preserve, and promote public parks, recreation and open space for the diverse people of Los Angeles. We need your help today to support 450+ incredible parks citywide.

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