Ocean Friendly Gardens
March 20 2014

Water Agencies Like Beautiful, Functional & Ecological Ocean Friendly Garden

Imagine a large, 2,000 square foot patch of turf grass in front a community center, not utilized for much of anything, such as the one pictured at right. It takes 60,000 gallons of (drinking) water every year to keep it alive. Sprinklers generate runoff and the plants are neither climate-appropriate nor native. It's mowed with noisy, gas-powered machines, and green waste is hauled away.

Fast-forward to today, at the same site: it's the City of Carson's Community Center, and it has been turned into an Ocean Friendly Garden (OFG), pictured at left. At today's ribbon cutting ceremony, elected City officials, water agency staff and a Surfrider rep pointed out how it is achieves multiple benefits - and it's beautiful! A member of the City's senior citizen advisory commission shared afterward about how seniors love relaxing in the garden.

While City and water agency speakers spoke generally about the gardens ability to in dry weather, Surfrider-South Bay Chapter's OFG Program Chair Beth Crosse (at right) pointed out the multiple benefits of "applying CPR: Conservation, Permeability and Retention:"

    - Contouring directs rain water into retention basins, utilizing rainwater as a first source of irrigation.
    - Building permeability and soil water holding capacity through compost, compost tea and mulch.
    - Drip irrigation to get the plants established.

Beth also noted that a Chapter partner in the buidling the OFG, West Basin Municipal Water District, is a funder of the Chapter's Teach-and-Test Program.

Part of the garden was built by residents through a Hands-On Workshop led by G3/Green Gardens Group. After a classroom talk about CPR and how to apply it, everyone went out side to install plants and irrigation (to a pre-prepped site), pictured at left. John Tikotsky was G3's landscape architect on this project.

Thanks to West Basin for serving water in a glass container for refillable containers, something appreciated by the Chapter's Rise Above Plastics (RAP) Program.

This is the 6th of 11 OFGs that will be built on public properties in highly visible locations as part of a State grant awarded to West Basin and Surfrider Foundation, and designed by G3. The most recent demonstration OFG was installed in Manhattan Beach (click here for the blog post).

Surfrider-So Cal Regional Manager, Nancy Hastings, showed up with the Jetta wagon provided to Surfrider by Volkswagen. Thanks to VW for being its sponsorship of Surfrider's Clean Water Program, of which OFG is a part.