“At least 50% percent of the water used in a home is used outdoors for landscaping, and there’s a lot we can do to minimize water waste and maximize water efficiency,” said Jill Santos, City of Ventura Environmental Specialist. “Being water-conscious is especially important in times of drought, and moving forward, it’s essential we all act as protectors of water, our most precious natural resource, and manage it effectively.”
To that end, the new 2016 Water Wise Class series mixes up its schedule of offerings to engage and inspire Ventura residents.
“We’ve added more instructional design classes with hands-on exploration,” said Santos.
Permaculture, Plant Selection and Landscape & Garden Design
“In our March 26th class, “Permaculture Design” taught by local permaculture specialist, Eric Werbalowsky, we’ll delve into how to work with, rather than against nature. In our June 4th class, “Designing and Maintaining Your Water Wise Garden,” we’ll be exploring design specifics such as how large certain plants will grow and the best way to incorporate certain natives into a landscape design for maximum beauty and efficiency. Cari Vega, a local landscape designer will lead this hands-on class and attendees are being asked to bring their personal design ideas, including photos, drawings and pictures.
In the “Right Plant: Right Place,” class on November 19th, participants will find out about what types of plants thrive in Ventura and the best place to situate them in the landscape.”
Composting & Water Wise Watering
“Our compost workshops have always been a popular class,” continued Santos. “In our “Compost & Healthy Soils,” class on April 30th, we’ll provide a step-by-step process of cultivating a healthy soil. This class will be led by the City’s ‘Dr. Rot’ (aka City Educator Paul Vaksvik). Attendees will learn about worm composting, cold and hot composting, and methods to amend soil for maximum productivity and water retention.”
Other classes include “Water Wise Watering” (September 24th), which defuses the mystery of programming landscape irrigation timers for maximum efficiency. Local irrigation experts from Aqua-Flo and Ewing Irrigation will be on-hand to demonstrate the latest irrigation technology. On October 22nd, an Ocean Friendly Gardens and Integrated Design class will demonstrate how to conserve water and habitat by capturing rain water and allowing it to infiltrate naturally into the landscape. This class will be taught be Lisa Burton of Nature by Design who has many years experience in designing and installing attractive and function “wildscapes.”
Ocean Friendly Gardens, Greywater Reuse and Rainwater Harvesting
“It’s been a few years since we’ve offered a class on Ocean Friendly Gardening,” said Santos. “This class will discuss the typical CPR (Conservation, Permeability and Retention) aspects as well as integrate greywater reuse and rainwater harvesting options to offset a residential landscape’s water demand.”
More about the classes
At the classes, attendees have the opportunity to mix, mingle, network, ask questions, and enjoy complimentary refreshments before and after all class presentations. Informative literature and usable handouts are provided at all classes. Additionally, when appropriate for class demonstrations, devices are available for hands-on experience.
Returning 2016 program partners include: The Surfrider Foundation, Smith Pipe and Supply, Ewing Irrigation, Green Thumb Nursery, and Aqua-Flo, as well as host of local landscape experts.
List of Classes and How to Register
Water Wise Classes take place on Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at various locations. For a complete list of classes beginning March 26, visit: http://cityofventura.net/waterwisegardeningclasses
In 2010, the City of Ventura in partnership with the Surfrider Foundation recognized the importance of changing out traditional green lawns with beautiful water wise landscapes and held the first FREE Water Wise Gardening Class Series.
The first series was so successful, often times with standing room only, that these classes are now part of an ongoing program throughout the year.
Classes focus on how to conserve water resources as well as how to reduce green waste production, curb water pollution and inform residents how they can save money on their water bill by implementing water wise practices. For more information, and to RSVP visit: http://www.cityofventura.net/waterwisegardeningclasses