$930,000 State Grant awarded to Theodore Payne Foundation for Nature Education Facilities

Lynnette Kampe

I’m delighted to announce that the Theodore Payne Foundation in nearby Sun Valley has been awarded a major grant through Proposition 84, the Safe Drinking Water Bond. More than 300 non-profit organizations and governmental agencies in California applied for funding and 44 grants were awarded. The Foundation, my home away from home, was chosen because of its leading role in educating Californians about the benefits of native plants, both for healthy ecosystems and for urban and suburban gardens. Native plants use, on average, one-seventh the water of most non-natives. 

For more than 50 years, the Theodore Payne Foundation for Wild Flowers and Native Plants, Inc. (www.theodorepayne.org) has dedicated itself to helping Californians discover the beauty of California native plants. The Foundation operates the Theodore Payne Nursery in Sun Valley, a retail nursery which offers more than 500 kinds of native plants and 200 types of native seed. Revenues from the nursery help fund other programs including gardening classes, K-12 science education, a garden tour and wildflower hotline. The Foundation honors the legacy of nurseryman and advocate Theodore Payne, who opened his first store in 1903 in Los Angeles. In his lifetime, Mr. Payne introduced more than 400 species of native plants into cultivation for public use.

Grant infrastructure improvements will complement the Foundation’s year-round native plant nursery and include two outdoor education classrooms, along with a student orientation area, a Fire Management Demonstration Garden and interpretive signage along the existing Discovery Garden and Wild Flower Hill trails. Access for the disabled will be expanded, restroom facilities upgraded and parking will be re-configured to improve on-site traffic circulation. This grant will enable us to better fulfill our mission to preserve and promote California’s natural inheritance.



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