Landscaping for Resilience: Ecologic and Social transformation with the Theodore Payne Foundation

submission by KittyConnolly
Landscaping for Resilience: Ecologic and Social transformation with the Theodore Payne Foundation

About Your Application

Organization(s) name(s):

Theodore Payne Foundation for Wild Flowers and Native Plants, Inc.

Organization(s) website(s):

Organization(s) twitter handle(s):

Organization(s) facebook handle(s):

Organization(s) instagram handle(s):

Please share the direct link for voters to sign up for your newsletter(s):

Describe Your Organization(s)

Non-profit organization

For-profit organization


Other (please specify below):

In one sentence, please describe what your organization does.


Since 1960, the Theodore Payne Foundation has been LA's native plant authority, promoting the understanding and use of California native plants through its educational programs, retail nursery, outreach, seed program, and demonstration gardens.

In one to three sentences, please describe your proposal.


Landscaping for Resilience brings people together to change their neighborhoods through installing and maintaining public native plant gardens. People connect over their shared desire for pubic green space and a richer and more rewarding urban environment. LFR provides environmental and social benefits, demonstrating how communities, government agencies, and non-profits can work together to enhance green space and create skill sets for positive environmental change within Los Angeles County.

Where will you be working? Please be specific (e.g. Third Street Middle School; Boyle Heights; LA County).

Central LA

East LA

San Gabriel Valley

San Fernando Valley

South LA


South Bay

Antelope Valley

County of Los Angeles (countywide)

City of Los Angeles (citywide)


Other (please specify below):

How do you plan to use these resources to make change? (check all that apply)

Conduct research

Engage residents and stakeholders

Implement a pilot or new project

Expand a pilot or program

Mobilize for systems change

Advocate with policymakers and leaders

Implement and track policy

Other (please specify below):

How will your proposal improve the following “Connect” metrics? (check all that apply)

Rates of volunteerism

Voting rates by race

Adults getting sufficient social & emotional support

Median travel time to work

Attendance at cultural events

Number of public transit riders

Participation in neighborhood councils

Percentage of Angelenos that volunteer informally (Dream Metric)

Government responsiveness to residents’ needs (Dream Metric)

Transit-accessible housing and employment (the share of housing units and percentage of jobs that are located near transit)

Total number of local social media friends and connections (Dream Metric)

Attendance at public/open streets gatherings (Dream Metric)

Residential segregation (Dream Metric)

Access to free wifi (Dream Metric)

Describe in greater detail how you will make LA the best place to connect.


Landscaping for Resilience (LFR), winner of the LA County Board of Supervisor's 2015 Green Leadership Award, is TPF’s proven model for connecting LA residents through environmental action.

In LFR, TPF partners with volunteer groups, neighborhood councils, and others seeking to convert the landscaping of public spaces in their community to native, drought-tolerant plants. The community groups coordinate volunteers, identify a public site to transform, work with their Neighborhood Council to secure support, and assume long-term maintenance of the site.

TPF designs the site plan and brings together the community for information sessions about the new landscape and its benefits. TPF directs the volunteers in site preparation and leads them in the installation of the new landscape. The impact is immediately evident: sterile, resource-intensive and/or stressed-looking landscapes are transformed by cooperative action into sustainable ones that celebrate the authentic, natural beauty of the region while serving as neighborhood focal points. Subsequent maintenance workshops teach water-saving irrigation practices, mulching, and weed abatement. All that’s required of the community is enthusiasm, shovels, physical labor (exercise!), and a desire to increase one’s knowledge and enhance one’s community.

LFR will engage 2,000 residents as volunteers to create and maintain eight public gardens. Volunteers will include adults, high school students, and families who set a very public example of what organized volunteers can accomplish. Regular volunteer maintenance days will ensure that neighbors have continuing opportunities for positive interaction and connection through social media. Much of the project coordination will occur through social media connecting residents with a project- and neighborhood-based network.

LFR will connect neighbors across generations by bringing them together to discuss and create public works. During project conceptualization, design, construction, and throughout maintenance, LFR creates a series of authentic opportunities for public gatherings. The new gardens, generated and maintained by public demand, will serve as focal points for adults to interact with their neighbors, forging cross-generational connections as they share skills and experiences.

If these projects are located near transit stations, the gardens will increase ridership (as envisioned in the First Last Mile Strategic Plan and Metro Green Place plan).

Please explain how you will evaluate your work.


TPF will evaluate the success of LFR on the number of volunteers engaged in educational and work activities, the number of hours volunteers contribute, the level of support from Neighborhood Councils, the number of gardens created through LA2050 and planned for the future, the number of (newly created) #LFR tweets and Facebook posts, and the amount of traditional media coverage. If timing allows and all the sites can be dedicated on the same weekend, we will implement a communications plan that crosses media platforms.

Water saving is another evaluation method. Given that California native plants use one-third the water (and less energy for transporting and treating that water), it makes sense to landscape native. Landscaping matters because urban areas consume ~20% of California’s water, and ~50% of that water is for outdoor use. We will track water use at the native plants gardens.

How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed? (check all that apply)

Money (financial capital)

Volunteers/staff (human capital)

Publicity/awareness (social capital)

Infrastructure (building/space/vehicles, etc.)


Technical infrastructure (computers, etc.)

Community outreach

Network/relationship support

Quality improvement research

Other (please specify below):

16 Pink talk bubble tail c96b4a07ef1417e25d0bcf5c4cba4766b8bbf0382f07677990a9d5577885d4d7

This is a wonderful assets to California. A great place to help educate our children and grandchildren. One of a kind and it's so nice to know the plants are for our area. Thank you for such a vital service.

by Flagler
5 months ago

I never leave comments on such forums, bur I really believe in T Payne and their mission. They have changed my own personal practices, and I do my best to educate others to the extent that I can about the benefits of native plants and restoring the original southern california ecosystem. Please give them your support.

by jefsolo
5 months ago

TPF grows in direct response to our increasing connection to our own Southern California land. Native plants! Butterflies! Native bees and hummingbirds! It belongs to them all.

by sbj2
5 months ago

Preserving and encouraging the use of local native plants in our landscaping is critical to the health of the greater environment and will therefore directly benefit our own physical and mental health as well. The more people who are made aware of TPF's work, the better off we will all be.

by AudubonBirder
5 months ago

Theodore Payne's proposal builds on their strengths as the leader in bringing native plants to LA gardens and their ability to engage local communities. This project speaks to the need to increase the use of native drought resistant plants and the need to build communities by engaging them in design and planting. public spaces. A great proposal for the LA area and its people now!

by leemilman
5 months ago

Theodore Payne Foundation is an asset to Los Angeles County. Their is no place like it!


5 months ago

Go native!

by Keithdude
5 months ago

We need to plant what wants to grow here, for the creatures that live here. Theodore Payne offers education about our own regional plant communities and the fauna that relies on them. An invaluable resource that deserves financial support.

by altoego
5 months ago

We need this to happen in Los Angeles.

by conserve
6 months ago

Theodore Payne Foundation is a great community resource that helped me as a home owner reduce my water usage by 200% while proving a beautiful garden that is alive with hummingbirds, birds and butterflies. If everyone would dump their wasteful lawn and sprinklers would could really restore balance. I believe that the 100k would be a perfect reward for this great group!!!

by pshadow58
6 months ago

Thanks for your kind comments about and support of TPF! We're working hard to connect neighbors and neighborhoods, provide plants and education, promote habitat for native wildlife, and encourage the preservation and understanding of native plants. We appreciate your votes!

by LiliZ
6 months ago

The Theodore Payne Foundation is a local example to every region of how to landscape consciously. Using simple strategies and some research, we can earn the benefits of having a resilient city, while giving personality to our architecture and yards and beautifying our neighborhoods. It is a win-win for everyone, where our oceans become cleaner, our slopes safer from flood and fire and our nature preserved by way of using the right plants for our area. Such a simple concept with dynamic and broad benefits to us all.

by caoyagi
6 months ago

We recently relandscaped our garden using what I learned at TPF's classes, as well as plants mostly from TPF. I would particularly like to thank the wonderful staff selling plants as they helped me refine my choices.

by LATrish
6 months ago

Theodore Payne Foundation is the voice of our beautiful native landscape and natural heritage. Someone needs to speak for the protection and promotion of the plants that provide so much in the way of diversity, shelter, and sustenance for wildlife as well as the enrichment and beautification of our own lives. TPF is that voice. This amazing organization and the Resilience project can reshape Los Angeles in a way that will benefit everyone with gardens that support biodiversity in our own front yard!

by bleufrodo
6 months ago

Fantastic project! I have seen the transformed landscapes of the Resilience native gardens and the pride and ownership o the community volunteers who make these gardens come to life.

by lynnette.kampe
6 months ago

Theodore Payne Foundation (TPF) is an amazing place where the benefits of native plants have been taught for more than 60 years. Long before the current drought, and far ahead of the "native plant fad", TPF has sought for decades to instill in the public an appreciation for and love of California plants and their water-conserving virtues. Our state is home to one of the most diverse and rich, but threatened, plant ecosystem on earth. Through its propogation, and sale of native plants, and its many educational courses, TPF is an essential and leading voice for the preservation and promotion of California plant life. A visit is a must for anyone interested in the intersection of native plants, the environment, public policy, water conservation and home gardening. Kudos to TPF for a job well done.

by michaeltpf
6 months ago

Pink ribbon award box icon 45b87e779c93f5099a48378c2aadc0fcd51184974daecf76e3f5c50034ea21fb
Award topvotedidea 5a5ae14e3d56a10363ea2a398cece46cf4df891213cbe68677c19d8903a1932a
Circle 1 inactive e7784182a1bd5eace578987db27fc19ec6337f418c48c6c8732605b9043d50d0 Step1 title submission inactive cde083e53089b973e7c9dc80a44a038c1ce4cf3b2650aeb5549157d1ed58a2d9

Submission Began
Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Submission Ended
Tuesday, October 06, 2015
at 07:00 PM UTC

Circle 2 inactive 74a43088831beb43fdbd7591ef5d50a5a7a26ff92c9e8ed489782459fa31a8d9 Step2 title voting inactive 96be722f53c417edddb5742ba9a6dc2fd403f7e4f6c19dbe883d50d20d93689d

Voting Began
Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Voting Ended
Tuesday, November 03, 2015
at 08:00 PM UTC

Circle 3 83da7a9432aeea960e1a9e9ee93e7ea1221af6c8f42b27964f2e9999d94b2b8d Step3 title 3d9e2a65d6ea1ad301f8fc607f5f828bd96362932c71d81c0da5b1fd964422b0

Winner Announced
Tuesday, December 08, 2015