The Cahuenga Library Gardens started out as a 2010 Big Sunday volunteer project, which was an amazing show of about 100 volunteers cleaning up trash and placing California native plants on the Library's grounds.
The native plants were selected not just for their drought-tolerance, but for their connection to the Library's name origins: "Cahuenga" is the pre-American Hollywood vicinity, which got its name from the Tongva native American village of Cahug-na, meaning "Place of the Hill." Before Los Angeles was a city, and even before it was an agricultural region and Spanish ranchos, it was the land where the Tongva people once lived, and these plants, most of them used in everyday Tongva life, pay homage to the indigenous villagers of Cahug-na.
But even after a successful volunteer event, a good thing shouldn't just be left to that. Elson Trinidad, the Big Sunday event captain, decided to replicate the event every month afterward, in a much smaller scale, garnering anywhere between one and 20 volunteers to maintain cleanliness and plant care on the Library's grounds.
Ever since June 2010, we have been doing these mini-cleanup/gardening events on the first Saturday of the month (The second Saturday in the event of a holiday), much to the delight and appreciation of the Library's staff, patrons and community.