Our Stories

Community Partnerships: The Art of Living Together

There’s always something we can do to improve an aspect of the community. Sometimes we forget to start in our backyard. PEF does such a great job connecting community members to real world ways they can make a difference by simply showing up.Kaya Plansker, Executive Director of Leadership Pasadena

Over the course of a few weeks, the Pasadena Chapter of the National Charity League, Leadership Pasadena, and the Eliot ARTS PTSA volunteered their Saturday mornings to help rejuvenate the Eliot school garden for classroom use. 

School gardens are natural places to reinforce symbiotic community relationships. The Pasadena NCL sought a way for their mother and daughter duos to enjoy a few hours outdoors while volunteering. Leadership Pasadena sought a way for alums to connect and give back. And the Eliot PTSA wanted to improve access to the school garden, especially for the special needs students whose classroom overlooks the garden.

Each group reached out to the Pasadena Educational Foundation to help them meet their goals.

Together with Eliot PTSA parents – parents who had personally put in countless hours to support the school garden – and Jill McArthur, PUSD’s Farm to School Coordinator and Master Gardener, PEF coordinated a plan that would work to meet all objectives and accommodate each group’s timelines.

First, members of the Eliot PTSA organized donations of cardboard from school families.

Second, Pasadena NCL stepped up to clear paths of weeds and brambles that had grown wild over the summer.

Finally, Leadership Pasadena laid down the recycled cardboard to act as weed barriers and covered them with a deep layer of mulch.

Improved pathways were completed. These group had the opportunity to enjoy each other’s company while supporting the objectives of the Eliot PTSA. And ultimately, students will reap the rewards.

Community partners help get the job done. But they also benefit from time well-spent with each other doing good work. It’s the art of living together… and living together well. 

Want to schedule a volunteer event for your group? Contact NC Inguanzo, Community Engagement Manager, at ncinguanzo@pasedfoundation.org