As part of Surfrider Foundation’s Ocean Friendly Gardens campaign, the San Diego Chapter will be holding a Garden Assistance Party (GAP) in Ocean Beach on Sunday, January 13 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The event will take place at a Sunset Cliffs residence located at 4895 Orchard Avenue, 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 CPR criteria of the Ocean Friendly Garden program – Conservation, Permeability and Retention.
Ocean Beach and Point Loma residents are familiar with the challenges of storm water 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 our region’s watersheds and oceans.
Volunteers at the upcoming Garden Assistance Party will be planting native species from one-gallon pots, laying down mulch, installing a decomposed granite walkway, creating a dry stream bed 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,” says Susan Krzywicki, Chair of the Ocean Friendly Gardens Committee.
The 3-year old Surfrider 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 contacting firstname.lastname@example.org. Plan to wear closed toe shoes, bring water in a non-single use container and wear sun protection.