This summer, at the Pacific Beach Taylor Library Community Room, Girl Scout Isabella Catanzaro held a workshop on how to create a beautiful landscape using only 30% of the water consumed by a typical lawn.
The afternoon included: how water use affects our natural environment, hands-on activities, an array of displays of local animals from the San Diego Natural History Museum, and experts in native plants. The water wise landscaping workshop was designed to illustrate the connection between personal outside water use and habitat preservation.
The workshop was able to inform both children and adults about water saving landscaping and how to landscape creatively with native plants. The workshop inspired homeowners to take action and change their yards to help protect and preserve San Diego's native ecosystems.
On hand were San Diego master gardeners Lucy Warren and Sharon Reeve. Master gardeners are a resource for anyone in San Diego. These experts can help any San Diegan understand everything from how to plant native plants and get them to grow to how to build a community vegetable garden.
They shared their knowledge of literally dozens of plants and how to grow them in your yard to benefit native wildlife. Native plants take very little water once established and add a unique flair to the landscape.
As an additional learning resource, Catanzaro created a school curriculum based upon the Next Generation Science Standards as part of her Girl Scout Gold Award. This curriculum was produced with the help of the local science teachers and high school students.
It can be used by any local elementary, middle, and high school teachers in the classroom here in Pacific Beach. The lesson plans help to educate students on the various native habitats and how water usage in their own yards affects these habitats.
People can take action and change their yards to help protect and preserve San Diego's native ecosystems. Their water wise landscaping will become example yards to share the concept of water wise landscaping with their neighbors and greater community.
Cuyamaca College features a host of examples of how native plants and low water consumption grasses that can create an amazing garden.
Catanzaro started gardening at Pacific Beach Elementary School and is growing giant pumpkins at her house for Halloween. Start planning now so that your yard is ready to install native plants to utilize the 10 inches of rain that San Diego gets in the winter.
Consider the following resources gathered by Catanzaro: https://icatanzaro.wixsite.com/waterwise, https://www.mastergardenersd.org, https://thegarden.org.