Live music, lemonade and learning could all be found Friday afternoon at Sierra Madre School's first-ever Earth Day Concert. In addition to all the fun, children were able to learn about native plants, with the school's own native garden serving as the educational playground.
"This is a dream come true. When my daughter was in kindergarten -- she's in seventh grade now -- I started the garden in the corner. I raised $10,000 dollars, and I made this small native garden," said Amy Whist, one of the organizers of the concert as well as the garden itself as well as a winner of an award for her gardening efforts. "To see it happen in the physical, with all these people enjoying it and see it increasing the quality of life is so rewarding and so wonderful. I just want it to become inspirational for other people to do it in other schools."
Whist got help from Deanna Evans and Sierra Madre Girl Scout Troop #13871, who did research with the Theodore Payne Foundation for Wildflowers and Native Plants to construct educational signs about the plants and place them around the school's lawn. Artist Karen Walker-Chamberlin, one of the troop's co-leaders, also designed posters and shirts for the event.
Sierra Madre School's native garden is the result of a 2010 grant from the San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District to develop a water conservation demonstration landscape and California native vegetation project at the school. Most of the school's lawn now serves educational purposes.