2011 was a great year for Ocean Friendly Gardens, which we capped off with an awesome Garden Assistance Program (GAP) workday in South Oceanside in December.  We had over 30 volunteers come out and get their hands dirty.  All our volunteers learned about native plants, different types of compost and mulch, various planting and irrigation techniques, and got to implement what they learned first hand.  A big thank you to everyone that came out to help!  Our new installation will save around 14,000 gallons of water a year thanks to the removal of 1300 square feet of grass, as well as utilize the 17,000 gallons of rainwater that runs off the roof annually by retaining it on site through dry

GAP2011

Volunteers listening to a presentation about native plants by Susan Krzywicki at our GAP workday

streams and rain barrels!  By reducing the amount of potential pollutants and the volume of water running off the site (which would eventually lead to our waterways and oceans via the stormdrains), we are helping improve water quality in our communities.

If you were unable to attend our 2011 events, we have even more exciting events planned for 2012!  To stay on top of all of the upcoming volunteer opportunities,  please sign up for the Surfrider newsletter and check out our Facebook page at “Ocean Friendly Gardens – San Diego”.   If you are interested in being a part of the OFG planning committee, our first meeting of the year will be January 24th at the Encinitas Community and Senior Center at 7pm.

In the meantime,  here are some related non-Surfrider events happening this month that will help you implement our three main principals of CPR – Conservation, Permeability, and Retention.

January 14th:  The California Native Plant Society is having their annual conference right here in SD.  Native plants are adapted to our climate and require less water an maintenance than most non-natives.  Some of our very own OFGers will be presenting that day; check it out! http://www.cnps.org/cnps/conservation/conference/2012/
January 21st:  The Solana Center for Environmental Innovation will lead a free composting workshop at the San Diego Botanic Garden’s compost demonstration site.  Using compost fertilizer helps maintain healthy living soil, which maintains its permeability (and therefore water retention) much better than soils full of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides.  To register please visit Solana Center’s website and complete a registration form at http://solanacenter.org/forms/sdbg-composting-workshop-jan-21
January 31st:  G3 is offering a Core Concepts Training in Huntington Beach. This class is a pre-requisite to the G3 Intensive Class to become an OFG certified professional. Here is a link to more information:   http://www.greengardensgroup.com/welcome/calendar/event-list?regevent_action=register&event_id=30&name_of_event=RescheduledHands-onCoreConceptsInHuntingtonBeach!
We hope to see you in 2012!
GAP2011

Completed OFG!