The event will take place at a Sunset Cliffs residence located at 4895 Orchard Ave. at the end of Cable Street. Lead by garden experts, Surfrider volunteers will get hands-on experience reworking the home’s landscaping to apply the guiding criteria of the ocean-friendly garden program — conservation, permeability and retention (CPR).
Ocean Beach and Point Loma residents are familiar with the challenges of stormwater flooding, an eroding coastline and beaches polluted from rainwater runoff, and can help take part in mitigating these problems by incorporating conservation practices at home. The garden-assistance party ties into a three-part series addressing the economic, environmental and practical benefits of a garden designed to protect the region’s watersheds and oceans.
Volunteers will be planting native species from one-gallon pots, laying down mulch, installing a decomposed granite walkway, creating a dry streambed with cobblestones and fine-tuning the irrigation system.
In Southern California’s semi-arid climate, pesticides and fertilizers can build up on lawns and gardens only to be washed down streets and storm drains and into the ocean as toxic runoff during infrequent rains. By opting for plants native to Southern California’s Mediterranean climate, capturing and reusing rainwater, and incorporating permeable paving and mulch so water can soak into the ground instead of running off into the street, ocean-friendly gardens restore balance to the water cycle and provide natural habitat for local wildlife. In addition to curbing toxic storm runoff, homeowners often enjoy an increase in birds and butterflies visiting their garden and a decrease in water usage. Participating homes receive a free sign, designating their yard as an ocean-friendly garden and an example of environmental conservation.
“This is a smart way to learn about environmental techniques that can change the course of the planet for the better. Every drop of water we save from rolling through our storm drain system to the ocean means a reprieve for nature and the sea,” said Susan Krzywicki, chairwoman of Surfriders’ Ocean-Friendly Gardens Committee.
The three-year-old program is seeing success in coastal communities in and beyond San Diego, where it directly addresses the need for cleaner beaches, better coastal preservation and reduced water and energy use.
Participants can reserve a spot at the garden-assistance party by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Plan to wear closed-toe shoes, bring water in a non-single-use container and wear sun protection.
For more information, visit sandiego.surfrider.org/programs/oceanfriendlygardens, call Kryzwicki at (619) 318-4590, or email email@example.com.