Venice’s beloved Learning Garden is at risk of being shut down forever!

Read below on what the Learning Garden is and why it is important.  And if you agree, sign the petition to save it.

View Petition!

Petition started by Libby Oren.

For the past 18 years, our non-profit organization, The Learning Garden, has operated at Venice High School and partnered with The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) to support and enhance student and community programs through the garden.

Due to complications with a massive construction project on the garden site, LAUSD is debating whether to remove The Learning Garden, or to work together with our organization to restore the site, and to make the garden a more vibrant learning environment for the school and community.

All of the garden’s buildings such as the shade-house, greenhouse, tool shed, and main office have been closed down due to safety concerns that the district should have taken care of decades ago. Many plants have been trapped in this process.

Our organization has:

  • Turned A Trash Heap Into A Garden-

Transformed an acre of Venice High School that was once weeds and trash into a beautiful garden –  with hands-on classes in soil regeneration, permaculture techniques, and foundation gardening skills – all through the work of our extensive volunteer network.

  • Brought Organic Agriculture to Venice High-

Expanded and enhanced the organic horticulture program at Venice High School, including partnerships with the Culinary Arts and Sustainable Agriculture Academy, and collaborated with Venice High to bring organic agriculture to the students.

  • Founded a Leading Medicinal Garden-

Developed one of the top Traditional Chinese Medicine Gardens in the country, with educational programs linked to YoSan University and Emperor’s College.

  • Nurtured Student Initiatives-

Hosted the Seed to Sale Program, where students grew herbs and vegetables and sold them at the Mar Vista Farmers Market monthly.

  • Housed the Seed Library of Los Angeles-

Housed and supported the foundation of the Seed Library of Los Angeles and its workshops.

  • Grown Food for Needy Citizens-

Grew thousands of pounds of food for donations to food banks and shelters.

  • Created a Resilient Community-

Brought people together through weekly potlucks and events at the garden, including our famous Fourth of July Ice Cream Social, Monarch Butterfly Day, fall harvest Pesto Day, Day of the Dead ceremony, Thanksgiving in the Garden, and our Winter Solstice celebration.

  • Galvanized Support from Institutions and Organizations-

Brought hundreds of thousands of dollars into the garden for programs and improvements through the generous support of over 40 institutions, organizations, and individuals. Partnered with such organizations, schools and businesses such as:  UCLA, Pepperdine, YoSan University, Emperor’s College, Patagonia, UC Master Gardener Program, VHS Alumni, PTSA and Booster Clubs, Transition Los Angeles, Transition Mar Vista Venice, Durfee Foundation, City of Los Angeles, LA Compost, NourishLA , Feed the People, Agape Church,  Santa Monica College, and many many more.


Please show your support for The Learning Garden by signing the petition and, if possible, add your personal story about how the garden has touched you.

We, the undersigned, urge LAUSD to preserve The Learning Garden at Venice High School, restore our structures safely, and support our regrowth on site so that we can bring back these important programs for the students and community.

Photo courtesy of Learning Garden

See why other supporters are signing, why this petition is important to them.

Our family love the learning garden, where 3 kids have grown up to connect with nature, inspired me to become a master gardener and supported our local elementary schools with knowledge and supplies!  – Wenchia Parker

This is an important community gathering, learning, and restorative garden. In current times, we need this more than ever!  – Shelley Billik
I’m signing because The Learning Garden and David King were instrumental in my education and learning about what it takes to transform an urban suburban lawn landscape into an edible xeriscape environment. The Learning Garden is a vibrant and essential part of our community. Its existence works to keep us in balance, emotionally, physically, as well as ecologically. Save The Learning Garden PLEASE!  – Teri Roseman
Hello LAUSD Staff! I live in Glendale and tend one of our public school’s gardens here. I can tell you that having a learning garden on site at a school is a tremendous benefit to the children. The children are often so disconnected from nature in their normal lives. With a learning garden, they get to see where their food comes from, learn scientific lessons from nature that are part of they curriculum in a hands on way, see and experience the cycle of waste and composting – it’s all INCREDIBLY important stuff to learn about. I know it’s really hard with the pandemic at present to keep things up, but PLEASE don’t let this go. Allow it to maybe run down a bit til everyone can come back and tend it properly, but please don’t let it go. I am sure that many volunteers have put countless hours of sweat and love into that place for the kids, and it’s worth it to keep it. Thank you.   – Monica Campagna
I learned to garden at The Learning Garden! My mom started me off as a kid, but David King and the Learning Garden are the ones that have really given me an education in growing my own food and restoring my soil. The Learning Garden also creates a habitat for pollinators and for people! Even folks just walking by have a chance to look inside and see green in the city, watch butterflies flitting around, and feel uplifted and restored by the growing plants and wonderful green and floral smells from the garden. If this is what occurs for passers by, imagine the impact this garden has on the students and community member inside the space, walking through and wedding the beds, planting in the dirt. It’s an incredible resource for our community and we should absolutely maintain it and restore it.  – Jewel Greenberg

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This is a Queen butterfly photographed at the Learning Garden by Sue McKean.

For more info on the The Venice Learning Garden:


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