Dan Medina, City of Gardena Councilmember, Donald L. Dear, West Basin Municipal Water District (West Basin) Director, and Gardena City Manager Mitchell Lansdell, along with community partners from Golden State Water Company and Surfrider Foundation, broke ground on a new Ocean Friendly Garden (OFG) with an official groundbreaking ceremony at Rowley Park in Gardena on Feb. 26, 2015. The 2,094-square-foot garden will feature drought-tolerant plants that thrive in dry climates and will save up to 80 percent of the water previously required for landscaping. The water-saving garden is designed to capture 1,166 gallons of rainwater by capturing it in the basins instead of incurring runoff.
“We are excited to break ground on another Ocean Friendly Garden in West Basin’s service area,” said West Basin Director Donald L. Dear, who represents the City of Gardena. “As we face one of the worst droughts on record, we hope that other community organizations and our community members take this garden concept and incorporate it into their facilities and homes to continue to increase their water conservation efforts.”
The day’s conservation efforts began at 9:00 a.m. with a free hands-on workshop inside the senior center where local community members learned about sustainable gardening techniques to build and create Ocean Friendly Gardens. Led by West Basin, Surfrider Foundation, Green Gardens Group, Stout Design Build and the South Bay Environmental Services Center, the workshop participants, community members and local leaders then began installing plants into the garden.
“This Ocean Friendly Garden marks a huge stepping stone for the City of Gardena as the city’s first water conserving garden at a City facility,” stated Councilmember Dan Medina, who was in attendance to participate in the groundbreaking ceremony. “We commend all the organizations involved for making this happen for our City. We are also looking forward to maintaining this great garden and allowing our residents to learn first-hand how these gardens can make a significant water-saving difference in midst of this drought.”
The OFG program is part of West Basin’s Water Reliability 2020 program, which aims to reduce dependence on imported water to only 33% by 2020 by doubling water recycling, doubling conservation efforts and adding ocean-water desalination to a local, diverse water supply. Programs such as the OFG allow West Basin to work toward its water efficiency goals by reducing the amount of water used outdoors (the leading water-loss practice in residential communities). This garden was funded by the City of Gardena, the Department of Water Resources, Golden State Water Company, and the Water Replenishment District.
From 1995 – 2013, West Basin’s conservation and recycling programs have helped to reduce per capita water use in West Basin’s service area by 27%. To learn more about West Basin’s conservation programs, please visit www.westbasin.org.