Ocean Friendly Gardens
June 14 2013

OFG Registering Well With Newspaper Reporters

by Paul Herzog

A combination of hearing a lot about the Ocean Friendly Gardens (OFG) Program and the summer beach-going time upon us prompted a reporter with the Orange County (CA) Register to contact Surfrider Foundation. The reporter, Aaron Orlowski, interviewed Surfrider's OFG Program Coordinator, Paul Herzog, who gave Aaron the "why" and "how" of OFG.

Aaron was then directed to Surfrider chapter OFG Program Chairpersons in the "O.C." to get the experience at the local level as well as speak with and see the OFGs of those living in the OC. These articles help Surfrider chapters and water agencies tell the story - to a large audience - of how ordinary people can make a big difference by creating OFGs.

Stephanie Pacheco's beautiful OFG in Hungtingto Beach is featured in the article (here's page 1, 2 and 3 of the article), showing off:

  • directing rainwater into the landscape through a rain chain (instead of a typical downspout), pictured at right;
  • permeable walkways;
  • native plants;
  • a veggie garden, pictured below.

Rainwater captured in rain barrels is used to water the vegetables.

The OFG at Rainbow Environmental Services was mentioned, which is a project that Greg Goran from Huntington/Seal Beach Chapter was involved with. Greg added some great comments in the article, covering the key points about the water quality and water supply impacts of lawns. Key steps to creating an OFG were then listed, along with how to order an OFG yard sign (which one can do through posting their garden to the OFG map).

Information about a regional turf grass rebate program finished up the article. People can qualify for a $1 for every square foot of turf grass removed and replaced with climate appropriate plants, mulch and efficient irrigation. OFG criteria first encourage a person to assess her/his site for how to use rainwater as a source of irrigation and prevent runoff, then look at soil building (mulch) and plant. Note: the OFG website has a link to a guide that includes how to do a site assessment guide.