Promoting and installingOcean Friendly Gardens in your community is a great way to make a positive impact on water quality in your watershed and at your beach. This program dove tails nicely with beach water testing programs. Check out the local media being generated by the West LA/Malibu Chapter'sOcean Friendly Gardens program or the new OFG Blog.
I stopped putting manure on my lawn after reading L.A. at Home columnist Emily Green's review of Douglas Kent's book "Ocean Friendly Gardens." Wrote Green: "This book strives to keep the things that we may apply to our yards where they belong and out of the ocean. Above all, it strives to protect the wild environment that drew so many of us to California in the first place."
You can learn more about preventing garden pollution from reaching the ocean at the Surfrider Foundation's hands-on workshop on Sunday. Presented as part of Surfrider's Ocean Friendly Gardens program, the class will cover site evaluation and the principles of CPR -- conservation, permeability and retention, all methods that will help prevent urban runoff.
The class also comes with a wonderful perk: Participants have the option of using the Surfrider Garden Assistance Program at a later date. This means that once you have developed a plan, Surfrider volunteers will help to tear out your yard and replant it in just one day. The catch? You have to be willing to help someone else with a garden face-lift in return.
"Attendees have to provide a plan, materials, plants and food, and we show up with volunteers," says Celeste Howe, chairwoman of the Surfrider Foundation West L.A./Malibu Chapter's Ocean Friendly Gardens program. Howe says that the sidewalk strip shown at right took about six hours to transform. They started around 9 or 10 a.m., and by 4 p.m. they had taken out turf, installed plants, added layers of compost and mulch, and applied compost tea.The Green Gardens Group will lead the Sunday class, which will include a tour of a Westchester yard. The class runs from 9 a.m. to noon. Cost: $25. Registration:firstname.lastname@example.org or (310) 694-8351.
-- Lisa Boone, Los Angeles Times
Photo credits, from top: Angie Johnson; Celeste Howe