Part 7 – La Casita Foundation

At the March 25, 1986 meeting of the Pasadena Garden Club, member Eudorah Moore, “the artist visionary among the…ladies,” (Greene, p. 11) suggested the “creation of an endowment fund which would be set up as a public foundation.”  Thanks in large measure to her effort, the La Casita Foundation was established by members of the Pasadena Garden Club in 1988 to maintain the gardens for public enjoyment.  The Pasadena Garden Club maintained the gardens until 1994.  But responsibility for them has been assumed since then by the Foundation with substantial funds and labor given by the Club, its members and community donors.

In 1990, thanks once again to Lisa Clement’s work on behalf of the Pasadena Garden Club, an application for support was made to the Founders Fund of the Garden Club of America to develop the education potential of the water conservation garden.  The Pasadena Garden Club and La Casita were granted the title of Runner Up and an award of $5,000.00.

On February 23, 1997 the gates for La Casita were dedicated in honor of Ruth Chandler Williamson and Martha March Chandler and their families.  The gateposts were crafted by Robert Cook and the gates were fabricated based on designs by Isabelle Greene.  They replaced galvanized posts and chains.

In anticipation of the year 2000, the Garden Club of America encouraged all member clubs to plan a millennium project.  La Casita Foundation and the Pasadena Garden Club created the butterfly sanctuary as the Garden Club’s effort.  On April 28, 1999, it was dedicated to Mrs. Kingston “Veva” McKee, former Foundation and Garden Club president as a memorial to her love of nature and her vision for the garden at La Casita.  “I will never forget the sight of Viva’s relatives – ancients to toddlers – all dressed up their Sunday-best looking at the stone, the youngsters clambering over it.  The occasion’s high point was the passing out of envelopes to each guest, which when opened, released a myriad of Monarch butterflies into the air.  They fluttered past our eyelids, lit on our shoulders, ascended like tiny specks into the sky, and some attached themselves decoratively to the hollyhocks and scabiosas I had installed.  It was enough to take your breath away, and I sobbed quietly.”  (Greene, p. 20)

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