Pasadena Water and Power – Sheldon Reservoir

A Neighborhood Eyesore Gets A Makeover

Our first hands-on collaboration with Pasadena Water and Power started in 2019 and we have been intent on making waves ever since.

After our successful Landscape Design Forum in Pasadena where we engaged a standing room only crowd with regenerative approaches to design and water optimization, we began collaborating with PWP and imagining places to work together. This auspicious location is at the Sheldon Reservoir in Pasadena.

The landscape surrounding Sheldon Reservoir, edged by Arroyo Blvd and Conniston Road, had been overgrown with introduced species such as Plumbago, Chinese Elm, Eucalyptus and overgrown weeds. The adjacent homeowners and community had tired of looking at a neglected public space and they began asking for something to happen…anything but what they had. Pasadena Water & Power had already been working on a demonstration garden design and they asked Studio Petrichor to join them in improving this space through careful plant selection, organic weed suppression and demonstrating hugelkultur.

Through a series of hands-on community workshops, where the heads of PWP upper management joined in, we all rolled up our sleeves and got to work. We facilitated a series of lasagna mulching workshops and then the grand finale…hugelkultur workshops. Our workshops demonstrate how materials that would normally be sent away to be recycled or to a landfill, such as cardboard, paper waste and landscape discards could be used to build healthy soil and optimize water resources.

The garden continues to grow and thrive and the community has something they can look at and engage with, pride in a landscape they took part in and learned from and an increased awareness of the power of community to make positive change. Drive by and enjoy the view, we do!

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