Media Contact: Sara Aminzadeh (415-794-8422)
As summer heats up, and thirsty lawns and exotic flowerbeds wilt and brown, California Coastkeeper Alliance and California Waterkeepers are joining forces with Blue Business Council Members and 1% For The Planet to celebrate California’s beautiful native plants, and other plants that naturally thrive in our arid climate. The groups’ Drought without the Drab campaign highlights water wise landscapes that are green and vibrant, from home gardens to wine country hotels, downtown businesses, and power plants. Businesses throughout California have embraced native plants and other water wise landscaping and are sharing #DroughtNotDrab images celebrating the beauty of their low-water gardens.
Californians are stepping up to conserve water, and collectively exceeded the Governor’s 25% reduction mandate in June 2015. Nonetheless, water-intensive lawns and other hallmarks of an English garden-style landscape still remain a huge draw on our state’s dwindling water supply. The Drought Without the Drab Campaign counters the notion that conserving has to mean brown lawns, bare gravel and spiky cacti. Outdoor watering accounts for about half of residential water use in urban areas, and up to 80% in hot, dry inland areas. Reducing outdoor water use is a key focus of state conservation enforcement efforts, particularly in areas of the state that failed to meet the emergency water conservation mandate. Research from the Pacific Institute suggests that Californians could reduce outdoor water use by 70% by landscaping with low water-use plants, saving water and money.
Patagonia’s Ventura headquarters is landscaped with a number of drought tolerant, native plants that help filter stormwater and create an attractive outdoor space for employees. H2 Hotel in Healdsburg has a living roof that captures rainwater for fountains, and chose native plants and a high efficiency irrigation system for its grounds. And, many Southern California businesses, including Best Western Pepper Tree Inn and Paseo Nuevo Shopping Center in Santa Barbara have taken to planting succulents in their ornamental fountains, a beautiful alternative to running drinking water.
The 2.5 acre Orange County Coastkeeper demonstration garden showcases six California-friendly “backyard” ideas. Coastkeeper offers a SmartScape program to help businesses and residents transition to drought-tolerant landscaping and lower water use by identifying financial incentives, design, installation and long-term maintenance options. Nearly 500 miles north, Russian Riverkeeper’s Stewardship Park in Guerneville features native meadows and shrubs and different ecological features of healthy river habitat.
Coastkeeper Alliance worked with California artist 3 Fish Studios to create a custom art print displaying the iconic image of the bear embracing California, surrounded by drought tolerant plants that are readily available in many areas of California, including succulents, cactus, calandrinia, flowering fuschia, and the California poppy.
Check out California’s beautiful water wise landscapes on Twitter and Instagram, using #droughtnotdrab or by visiting cacoastkeeper.org