At Phoenix House, gardens are often used as a tool to help our clients in recovery. Each Phoenix House Academy in California includes an on-site garden where teens can meditate or learn to care for herbs, flowers, or vegetables. Thanks to Phoenix Houses of California staff member Kristin Sabo, visitors to Griffith Park in Los Angeles also enjoy the benefits of outdoor living and the beautiful landscapes of California.
Kristin, a grant writer at our Phoenix House Academy in Los Angeles, is highly dedicated to her job. She secures private and corporate foundation grants for Phoenix House’s rehabilitation and treatment programs that address the needs of our teen clients affected by substance abuse and mental disorders. In her free time Kristin maintains a lush garden within Griffith Park.
How did she get involved? During the first month that Kristin lived in Los Angeles, she made a trip to the famous Griffith Park and met Amir Diamaleh, who created the garden in the 1960s. Amir strongly believed in outdoor recreation and wellbeing, in addition to providing city dwellers with an escape from hectic city life.
He created colorful wooden stairs, picnic areas, and terraced slopes. Over time, this location became known as Amir’s Garden. In 2003, Amir passed away leaving behind his beautiful garden in the care of his close friend Kristin Sabo.
Kristin spends over 1,000 hours a year managing the ornate haven. She weeds, repairs stairs, mends benches, rakes leaves, and plants new vegetation. She spearheads local Boy and Girl Scout troops’ projects and volunteer work. She has become an expert on Southern Californian flora; she also knows each of the park’s 25 trails like the back of her hand.
To learn more or lend a helping hand in the garden, visit www.amirsgarden.org.