Dear Theodore Payne Foundation Community,

On behalf of the staff and Board of the Theodore Payne Foundation, we hope that you, your loved ones and friends are in good health and good spirits during this extraordinary and challenging time, as the world responds to the threat posed by the novel coronavirus.

As members of the TPF community, we cherish the nature we create in our own gardens and know the comfort in watching native bees dart among their Ceanothus, Monarch butterfly larvae appear on native milkweed and Cedar Waxwings empty Toyons of their berries. In these trying days, nature continues to march ahead. At TPF, we are marking our 60th Anniversary this year, and we also are trying our best to march forward. But it is no exaggeration to say the disruption of the past few weeks and the uncertain time ahead constitute an existential threat to our work and mission. We have made temporary cuts and alterations to our programing and sales operations in order to ensure public safety above all else.

These program cuts will have an impact on our financial sustainability, and that’s why we are turning to you for a contribution today. Your timely support will help TPF continue to innovate quickly in response to the rapidly changing times:

  • We have ensured the Native Plant Garden Tour will take place by making it a virtual one! Throughout the weekend of March 28 and 29, TPF will be hosting live, online visits to the tour gardens, with interviews with garden owners and designers. We have had a very positive response to this change and anticipate it will still be a highlight of the year.
  • We also have developed a safe, contact-free way for people to buy plants and pick them up at TPF. We are exploring the possibility of delivering plants and will soon be unveiling online classes, just a few examples of the new ways we will be serving our community during the next few months.

Your financial gift now will also ensure we emerge after the health crisis strong and ready for next year’s growth. As you know, TPF works in harmony with the landscape of California. During the rainy season and into the spring, when native plants are growing, we normally are running at full speed, earning most of our revenue. During the dry summer months, when many natives go dormant, TPF’s revenue slows considerably. The timing of the coronavirus outbreak is particularly harmful because we are not getting our usual chance to grow and blossom in preparation for the dry season.

But you can help us be ready for next season. Please don’t wait. If you are able to support us now, your assistance will go directly to paying our staff, maintaining TPF’s facilities and keeping our native plant inventory healthy.

For 60 years we have been making Southern California more sustainable, more beautiful and a more interesting and vibrant place to live by celebrating and supporting native plants and our local biodiversity and by making both an essential part of people’s lives. This is a crucial moment, unlike any we – all of us – have ever faced. We hope all of those who love TPF and understand the importance of its mission will stand together to support its continuing work. And we hope you continue to enjoy your native plant gardens and the native plants that thrive all around us.


Evan Meyer, Executive Director                              DJ Peterson, Board President


P.S. TPF is a community of forward-thinking people who believe that the human world and the natural world can coexist in harmony. Let’s not let this crisis stand in the way of that ideal. Your support will make a difference.