The Surfrider Foundation’s Ocean Friendly Gardens program undertook an awesome effort in 2013, detailed in a newly released annual report. Surfrider chapters, volunteers, student clubs and staff that make up the program implemented an interconnected set of program objectives. They educated the public about a watershed approach to urban runoff, conducted hands-on activities and engaged government agencies to shift policy and programming.
A total of 35 chapters or school clubs participated in 2013, offering a spectrum of activities including indoor classes, hands-on workdays, neighborhood walks, meetings with government officials and more.
While most Surfrider chapter Ocean Friendly Garden programs have been concentrated along the west coast, more and more took hold along the east coast. Programs got launched in Hawaii, strengthened in the Southeast, and seeds were planted in the Northeast. Overall, there was a strong increase in activity during 2012.
Even more interesting than the activities or garden builds is what chapters are accomplishing through their events:
- Increased public understanding of how landscapes and hardscapes can be effectively altered to prevent pollution; and
- The establishment of successful partnerships with governments and local stakeholders to educate about and train through building Ocean Friendly Gardens.
Several programs are highlighted in the annual report through case studies. One program, run by the Surfrider Foundation Portland, Oregon Chapter, has filled an important gap. It is called the Green Streets Stewards Program. Green street elements include cuts in parkway curbs or removal of street asphalt with planted areas to allow street runoff to be absorbed and filtered by landscaping. The monthly walk-abouts by the Green Streets stewards remove trash at the openings of curb cuts as well as trash that gets into the landscaped area. They have partnered with the City of Portland, with the City providing tools and regular check-ins with the Program. It’s meaningful, effective and fun.
These stories and more are what make Ocean Friendly Gardens one of the Surfrider Foundation’s most successful and engaging programs. Thanks to the tremendous work of the 35 chapters and clubs who participated, 2013 was a great year for the program and we look forward to continued success in the years to come.
Click here to download the 2013 annual report.