The Pinewood Legacy Garden Project transformed a highly visible, barren expanse of dirt into a vibrant garden space to learn, play and enjoy.  It fills 1,500 square feet adjacent to the Pinewood Elementary auditorium and school offices and abuts a high-traffic walkway, and cover a gentle slope to a seating area.

The new garden of bountiful  native foliage, and the birds and butterflies it attracts, delight students as they leave the auditorium. There, two play-friendly, water-wise California native grasses border an existing walkway, allowing children to romp alongside the beaten path. They encounter subtle, new topography: a bioswale designed to direct and infiltrate water, and a deeply mulched slope framed by existing stairs on their way to a seating area cooled by fruit-bearing pomegranate, fuji apple and clementine trees.

The Pinewood Legacy Garden is designed to deliver more than beauty. It is intended to be a powerful tool that:

  1. Supports student health, wellness, and academic achievement
  2. Serves as an experiential learning tool for students, teachers, and community
  3. Mitigates food insecurity and hunger
  4. Cools the play space and community
  5. Saves water and reduces school operational costs
  6. Increases LA’s resilience in Tujunga
  7. Sparks pride in students, teachers, parents and community members




The project team and sponsors join Senator Liu in the shaded native garden.

The Legacy Garden marks the legacy of Senator Carol Liu’s 14 years of environmental and community leadership in the State Legislature. It represents a joint effort between the Senator’s office, Pinewood Elementary School, Beyond the Bell/ LA’s BEST After School Enrichment Program, L.A. Unified School District, and FormLA Landscaping.

The project received material donations from Ewing Irrigation of Glendale, Netafim USA, as well as funding from Maria Mehranian and the Southern California Gas Company.


Pinewood Elementary School  Pinewood Avenue Elementary, a TK-5 school, is located in the northeastern LA community of Tujunga. It is located in L.A. Unified School District (LAUSD) Northeast.

Senator Carol Liu  Sen. Liu represents about 930,000 people in the 25th Senate District, which includes Burbank, Glendale, Sunland-Tujunga, Atwater Village, Shadow Hills, La Cañada Flintridge, La Crescenta, Montrose, Pasadena, Altadena, San Marino, South Pasadena, Sierra Madre, Monrovia, Bradbury, Duarte, Glendora, San Dimas, La Verne, Claremont, and Upland.  Learn More

GREEN21 Program  Senator Carol Liu initiated her “Greening for the 21st Century” (GREEN21) program to promote initiatives that protect and conserve natural resources and reduce overall environmental in the 25th Senate District. GREEN21 initiated and managed the project. Learn More

Beyond the Bell/ LA’s BEST After School Enrichment Program  The mission of LA’s BEST is to provide a safe and supervised after school education, enrichment and recreation program for children ages 5 to 12 in the City of Los Angeles. In addition to programming, LA’s BEST purchased $2000 in native foliage for the garden. Learn More

 About FormLA Landscaping FormLA Landscaping is improving LA’s resilience, one optimally sustainable landscape at a time. Its gardens feature lush, leafy foliage authentic to LA. The firm provided optimally sustainable garden design+build services and additional pro bono services to bring the garden to fruition. Learn More