On Sunday, January 27 Temple Beth Israel of Highland Park and Eagle Rock will hold its annual native plant sale as a part celebration of the Jewish holiday of Tu Bishvat. This holiday is sometimes called the anniversary of the trees, and it is a time when Jewish congregations take time to plant trees or do other good turns for our environment. It is time to remember the biblical commandments to be good stewards of the earth.
Temple Beth Israel, located at 5711 Monte Vista Street in Highland Park, had a problem years ago that its front yard of over 8,000 square feet was mostly planted in lawn. The watering and maintenance of this expanse of lawn was a burden on the small congregation and its board was looking for ways to enhance the appearance of the front yard without breaking its budget. In 2004, a plan utilizing low water and maintenance plants, mostly California natives was accepted and the temple started on implementing it phases. By 2007, with more than two thirds of the lawn replaced with the native plants, the temple’s garden transformation was nearly complete. Conversion of the lawn has been hailed by the congregation as a success, making the landscape more attractive (to bees, birds and butterflies as well as people) and easy to maintain. Each year since 2007, the Temple has held a native plant sale near this holiday and the youth classes have planted additional native plants as a way of celebrating this holiday.
The native plant sale will be held from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Sunday, January 27. The plants will include an assortment of shrubs, low growing groundcovers, and under story plants suitable for gardens in our local area. Many of the plants will be the same or similar to those used in the front yard landscape of the temple. Information on how and where to plant these water-conserving plants will be available at the plant sale. You may contact Jerry Schneider by email at firstname.lastname@example.org if further information is needed.