Director Harold C. Williams and community partners from California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) and Surfrider Foundation celebrated the unveiling of CSUDH’s largest Ocean Friendly Garden (OFG) on campus during a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday, March 26. Throughout the ceremony, several community partners discussed the importance of the water-saving garden in the midst of a historic drought, and Jimi Castillo, Spiritual Leader of the Tongva Nation, and his wife, Jeanette, were in attendance to bless the garden.
Located at the University Housing Complex, this garden replaces nearly 7,000 square-feet of grass with 250 water-saving, drought-tolerant trees and plants native to Southern California and the Tongva Nation, an indigenous tribe of the Los Angeles Basin, and will save up to 80 percent of the water previously required for landscaping. Additionally, it is designed to redirect and capture water from the street to allow for natural irrigation of the garden. The water-saving plants were incorporated into the design as well as boulder seating along the mulch pathway to allow students, residents, and visitors to enjoy the garden comfortably for years to come.
“We commend Cal State Dominguez Hills for taking action to reduce its water use in this critical time of drought,” said West Basin Director Harold Williams, who represents the City of Carson. “Together, if our residents, businesses and other universities and schools take this garden concept and implement similar gardens in their homes and communities, we can work to reduce the impact that future droughts will have on California.”
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 through 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, which is the leading waste of drinking water in residential communities.
“We are grateful for our partnership with the West Basin Municipal Water District and other program partners who helped us create this wonderful Ocean Friendly Garden,” said Robert Fenning, CSUDH Vice President, Administration and Finance. “This garden is a prime example of our continued commitment to sustainability on the campus. It will serve as a reminder that we are all in this drought together and help teach visitors that they, too, can do their part to help conserve our precious water.”
The coordinated efforts of the OFG partnership with Surfrider Foundation, Green Gardens Group, Stout Design Build, California Water Service Co., and South Bay Environmental Services Center helped to create this water conservation garden. The garden was funded by CSUDH, Dominguez Hills Housing, the Department of Water Resources, and West Basin.
For more information about West Basin’s Ocean Friendly Garden and other water conservation programs, visit www.westbasin.org.