A new phase for the Throop Learning Garden

First imagine the before: a strip of lawn, flat and water-guzzling, stretched out between the tall walls of a Gothic Revival style building, Throop Unitarian Universalist Church, and two busy streets, Del Mar Boulevard and Los Robles Avenue. Like so:

Before: a strip of grass in front of Throop Church

Then envision the after: a garden with low and tall growing plants, with native shrubs in various shades of silver and green, with hummingbirds and butterflies that settle on fruit trees, sunflowers and echinaceas.

After: sages, echinaceas...

...and a winding path invite visitors to linger and learn

The Throop Learning Garden was the work of a group of about 200 volunteers around Transition Pasadena, the Arroyo S.E.C.O. Network of Time Banks and the church — and the eco-transformers aren't done yet. Thanks to a successful online fundraising project in July, the sustainable permaculture garden will soon see the installment of a rainwater harvesting system.

The idea is to collect rainwater from the church roof via a series of gutters and to feed it into a large tank. The water will help supply the fruit trees and food beds in the garden with moisture. During the monthlong crowdfunding drive on Faithify supporters pledged $5.035 to help finance the project.

Transition Pasadena, which initiated the garden at Throop Church as a learning experience for the larger community, also organizes workshops and presentations. This Saturday, Lisa Novick of the Theodore Payne Foundation will share her knowledge around the topics of water conservation, habitat preservation and planting with native plants and edibles.

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When: Saturday, August 9, 3 p.m.
Where: Throop U.U. Church, 300 S Los Robles Ave
What: California Native Plants: The Big Picture (a presentation by Lisa Novick of the Theodore Payne Foundation)

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The "before" image of Throop Church was used with permission from Transition Pasadena.