Our Stories

Upgrading School Gardens with Pasadena Junior League and Pasadena NCL

Gardens serve many purposes. They teach us about nature, science, inform us about the food on our tables, and help us understand the importance of consistency and a strong work ethic. There’s so much to learn from outdoor spaces. This is exactly why school gardens are vital classrooms and why Pasadena Educational Foundation supports them.

And in summertime, there’s nothing better than experiencing the fleeting crispness of the morning in a garden… except perhaps spending it alongside your family and friends in the service of nurturing an outdoor classroom.

Recently the Pasadena Junior League and the Pasadena Chapter of the National Charity League did just that. Under the direction of PUSD Master Gardener Jill McArthur, both groups put their muscle behind upgrading school gardens at John Muir High School and Madison Elementary for Pasadena Unified School District students.

Volunteering in the garden at Muir, members of the Pasadena Junior League not only did routine garden maintenance, but they donated pots of herbs, planted drought-tolerant plants, and created potting tables for student use. This group is a member of the Association of Junior Leagues International, Inc. – an exclusively educational and charitable organization of women committed to improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers.

The Pasadena Chapter of the National Charity League hosted its group members – mothers and daughters – to help in the Madison garden. They planted seeds, cleared away debris, and built a sandbox for kindergarten classes. National Charity League has chapters all over the United States and is composed of mothers and daughters, grades 7–12, who participate in active efforts to promote human welfare. Together they embrace philanthropy, leadership, and culture.

We are thrilled to have had their active support at the time of year when our school gardens require the most work.

Thanks to the Pasadena Junior League and the Pasadena Chapter of the National Charity League for enhancing the outdoor classrooms of the Pasadena Unified School District. We salute you both for your service!


By Nancy Carol Inguanzo, Community Engagement & Volunteer Manager