A garden planted to welcome an entire community is set to undergo a renovation to become more inclusive.
All year round, the South Pasadena Community Garden bustles with members of the surrounding neighborhood planting veggies, flowers and more. On a crisp winter afternoon earlier this year, the garden was also the set of a new U.S. Bank brand advertisement about its corporate social responsibility efforts and active engagement in its communities across the country.
When meeting with the garden's founders and board members during production, Kelly Colbert, head of brand advertising and social media at U.S. Bank, saw a large sign near the garden's entrance that resembled a thermometer and indicated the amount of money raised for a renovation campaign to make the garden more inclusive – such as by creating handicap-accessible pathways throughout. They were on their way toward their goal but could use a boost.
Kelly and other U.S Bank employees sprang into action. She made some calls to secure the remaining $15,000 needed for the project.
The garden's organizers were shocked and appreciative. "It was gratifying to be recognized by an amazing community partner like U.S. Bank," said Janet McIntyre, co-chair of the South Pasadena Community Garden, noting that the donation was the largest they had received in over three years.
Located just outside of Los Angeles, the South Pasadena Community Garden provides a public area for community members to garden and learn about the different techniques to do so – such as organic and water-wise gardening. The community garden caters to people with varying levels of experience, from experts to those who take advantage of the space because they do not have their own lawn. Everyone is welcome.
The spontaneous donation from U.S. Bank will help further that spirit of inclusivity.
"We recognized a need in the community and responded accordingly," said Kelly.
Asia Hassan is a STEP-UP Achieve summer intern at U.S. Bank and a senior at Washburn High School in Minneapolis.