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News Release

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Media Relations

LAPD Topanga Division Announces Native Landscaping Project Community Partnership to Maintain Eco-Friendly Garden Includes Student Workers NA12130rf

What:
A news conference to announce a new partnership with the Theodore Payne Foundation for Wildflowers and Native Plants, Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) and others that will create a sustainable, eco-friendly community garden.

When:
June 19, 2012
1:00 p.m.

Where:
Topanga Area Community Police Station
21501 Schoenborn Street
Canoga Park 91304

Who:
LAPD Topanga Area Captain Tom Brascia
Representative from District 3 Los Angeles City Councilman Dennis Zine
LAUSD Program Supervisor Brian Anderson and student workers
Lisa Novick, Director of Outreach and K-12 Education for the Thomas Payne Foundation
1800LOANMART CEO Oscar Rodriguez
Topanga Boosters President Francois Khoury

More Info:
For a little over three years, a landscaping project at the Topanga Area Community Police Station has been maintained by police personnel and various community and social organizations, and it’s getting a major boost.  Today, it was announced that the landscaping will be transformed into a “native community garden” through a new partnership featuring participants from the Theodore Payne Foundation, a nonprofit native landscape center in Sun Valley, Calif. and LAUSD Miller Career and Transition Center.  Further assistance will come in the form of sponsorship from the Topanga Area Boosters and 1800LOANMART, a local finance company.  

In April of this year, the Topanga Community Relations Office, led by Sergeant Thomas Mason, contacted the Theodore Payne Foundation.  As a result, a director of outreach and K-12 education at the foundation became involved and agreed to work with Topanga Area to create a native community garden on the property.

Through social media, the LAUSD Miller Career and Transition Center got involved to provide student workers. The center provides employment-based training for non-diploma track, mild to moderately disabled and selected severely disabled students ages 14-22.  The landscape maintenance program, in which the students had already been participating for two to three hours weekly during the past six weeks, teaches the students landscaping skills.  In the new partnership,  students will have even more opportunities to interact with community members and police officers during their work experience.

Also contributing to the project through the donation of a trailer for transporting tools and equipment is a local finance company, 1800LOANMART, a longtime Topanga Area supporter.