Ocean Friendly Gardens, Basic Class, GAP, HOW, Lawn Patrol
July 26 2013

The 2012 OFG Annual Report

by Paul Herzog

The Surfrider chapters, volunteers, students and advisors that make up the Ocean Friendly Gardens Program undertook an awesome effort to both educate the public about OFG and conduct hands-on training to build Ocean Friendly Gardens during 2012.  A total of 23 chapters or school clubs offered a sprectrum of activities.

Activities included indoor classes, hands-on workshops, garden building days, and neighborhood walks. While most Surfrider chapter OFG Programs are concentrated along the west coast, a handful have taken hold along the east coast and more are launching. We look forward to interest in the northeast and Texas. Since this is the first year of releasing a Report, we do not have a baseline against which to measure change in activities.

Even more interesting than the activities or garden builds is what chapters are doing through their events to:

  • Increase community awareness of pollution prevention and how a healthy watershed functions; and
  • Establish successful partnerships with local governments and stakeholders to educate about and train through building OFGs. 

Several programs are highlighted in the Report through case studies. One program, run by the Ventura County Chapter, has partnered with the City of Ventura and contracted with G3/The Green Gardens Group on two professionally led "series" of programs that resulted in beautiful gardens. The second series included an in-classroom workshop for training professionals, helping to meet the increasing demand for OFG-oriented landscape pros. Just as interesting was the cutting of the parkway curb and creation of bio-swales at the 2nd site. Hard surfaces like roads, parking lots and driveways contribute the bulk of urban run-off. The City of Ventura is offering a no-cost curb cutting permit as long as the applicant hires a licensed contractor to cut the curb and follows the G3-developed design. To our knowledge, no other city in the country offers a similar no-cost permit.

The Program is partially supported by several generous funders, which we are grateful for.

Click here to download the OFG 2012 Annual Report.