Native plant species, rain chains, drip irrigation – and what on Earth is decomposed granite? In my quest for more information on the drought Los Angeles is facing and what I can do at home to cut water usage, I looked to TreePeople’s Drought Solutions Tour and Native Plant Walk, which is one of many resources available in Los Angeles for learning how to create a sustainable city.
This past Saturday I rose bright and early, grabbed a smoothie and headed to TreePeople’s Coldwater Canyon Park. The group tour leader, Enjoli, was as enthusiastic and knowledgeable as the other women I shared this experience with. We chatted with each other about permeable pavement options, rock formations, and how we can get more of my own and Enjoli’s generation involved in the movement.
Enjoli led us through the hilltop park pointing out native tree and plant species. She paired technical and scientific information with fun facts like which varieties you can make tea out of. Hummingbird Sage is my new favorite – it smells heavenly and, a beautiful light green, it proves that not all native California plants are brown. We also got a tour of the LEED Platinum building on site, the TreePeople Conference Center, which is used for banquets, events, and a meeting area for other organizations. By the time the hour was up my eco-gears were turning away plotting other ways to make my lifestyle more sustainable. The possibilities are endless!
Not only did the Drought Solutions Tour and Native Plant Walk inspire me to make changes in my own home, it also had me spreading the word. After learning the jaw-dropping news that approximately 50% of LA’s drinkable water goes to landscaping, I naturally came to the conclusion I needed to rip up my family’s lawn immediately. Turns out I don’t have the final say in that, but I did manage to convince my mom to reduce her watering cycle to twice a week and to water for a shorter duration. Is that progress? I’d say so. Next up: the neighbors.
The Drought Solutions Tour and Native Plant Walk was a hands-on educational and relaxing way to spend my Saturday morning. Better yet, I walked away from this tour with the information I needed to start building a water-wise Los Angeles and the drive to make it happen.