Teens Unveil Native Pollinator Garden at Library

Council members of the Palisades Library teen council worked on a native garden by the library that will be unveiled May 1.
Photo: ZIBA PEREZ

By JAKE FOLSOM

There’s good news to share about the great work local teens are doing at the Palisades Library. The public is welcome to come to the library on May 1 from 4 to 6 p.m. and May 4 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., as Palisades Library’s Teen Council presents a new community garden in the library’s courtyard.

The garden has been planned to feature ecologically conscious native agriculture and will be displayed opposite a newly installed wall of art in the teen section of the library, featuring the work of students from Pali High.

The teen council hosted a rock painting event in March to create decorations for the garden, and this writer was lucky enough to attend and speak with councilmembers Piper, Zoey, Isabella, and Daria, as well as President Sarah and Vice President Olivia.

Like many people of their generation, the council members are concerned about climate change. But unlike too many of us when confronted with an issue we care about, these teens asked themselves what they could do to make a difference. After working with the Theodore Payne Foundation and interviewing experts in the field of ecology, the council got to work.

“We had people come help us with the garden and tell us [certain] plants do more harm than good,” said councilmember Zoey, who recalls a conversation with expert Mike Terry (of N/E/X/T/Garden).

He pointed to a seemingly random tree and told the council how out-of-sync this species is with Southern California’s indigenous wildlife. “Only two species in the entire world are a fit with [that] tree,” Zoey said.

“The native plants we’re using are a fit with so many different pollinators:  hummingbirds, bumblebees, ladybugs,” Daria said and named some animals which can serve this crucial role for a thriving ecosystem.

“[Native plants] help the soil, too, because many of them have drought tolerance,” said Isabella. “Which [means they] cost a lot less money!”

The teen council is eco-conscious, but creative with finding aspects of native agriculture that can appeal to more people. For example, they recommend clover as a low-maintenance landscaping choice rather than environmentally problematic, petroleum-based “turf.”

At the rock painting event last month, the library’s courtyard hummed as artists of all ages worked in harmony.

“The native plants are beautiful, but that’s what makes the garden unique too,” Zoey said, gesturing at a display of rocks, freshly painted in vibrant color. “Maybe other people will see that and say, ‘I want to paint rocks for my front yard!’”

Students attending area schools ages 11-19 are eligible to get credit for community service by volunteering with Los Angeles Public Library. To learn more about the programs offered, please visit lapl.org/teens or email Palisades Young Adult Librarian Ziba Perez at zperez@lapl.org.

The teen council meets in the teen area in the Palisades Library.
Photo: ZIBA PEREZ

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One Response to Teens Unveil Native Pollinator Garden at Library

  1. Sandy says:

    Thanks for sharing this with the community, Jake. And welcome to the library!
    (For those who haven’t met Jake, he is our new Tech Guru at the library.)

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