Natural History Museum Unveils a Garden Paradise


The inauguration of the Natural History Museum’s Erika J. Glazer Family Edible Garden brimmed with life, as both children and the garden’s denizens relished their time in the sun exploring the new space. Dozens of youngsters wandered around the garden, sampling the ripened fruits and vegetables growing out of raised cedar wood beds, insects danced on lavender buds, worms dug into the earth and rolly-pollies climbed on tomato vines.

As an educational and interactive park where visitors of all ages can watch birds, search for bugs, stroll along a creek, ramble through a grove of trees, the habitat is a perfect fit for the Natural History Museum, demonstrating how urban gardens thrive through the seasons.

In part the garden’s creation is due to the museum ‘s desire to join the growing chorus of advocates for home-grown vegetables, composting and working with the environment to create a habitate for beneficial garden bugs. Located next to the Butterfly and Spider Pavilions, the garden allows visitors to have a truly hands-on experience.

It all began in early 2010, when the museum was approached by Los Angeles County Cooperative Extension’s Master Gardener, Florence Nishida, with a plan to build a teaching garden for the Grow LA Victory Garden Initiative. That initiative, which harkens back to the days of World War II when thousands of Americans grew “Victory Gardens” in their homes to sustain the home front. Through the initiative, new gardeners learn about gardening in hands-on workshops and ultimately creation of their own home gardens.

Ultimately, the garden is not only a beautiful sight, but it will also serve to educate all visitors on seasonal eating, sustainability and healthy food habits.

“This garden is a living, breathing example that should inspire all of our residents to grow their own gardens and to celebrate our good fortune to live in California’s temperate climate,” said Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chairman Mark Ridley-Thomas. “This garden effort goes hand in hand with what we are doing in the Second District to “green” and enhance open spaces in every corner.”