Rancho Los Cerritos to Host Water-Wise Workshop October 20

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On Saturday, October 20, 2012, Rancho Los Cerritos Historic Site will host a Water-Wise Workshop with appearances by environmental experts in Southern California. The workshop is designed to show residents how they can take better care of their plants and conserve resources, the event will also include plant and seed sales.

The Water-Wise Workshop will highlight the importance of water conservation and promote opportunities for the appreciation of plants. There will be representatives from a half dozen organizations, including the California Native Plant Society, Long Beach Water Department with its Lawn to Garden Program; Bio and Clean Environmental Services; the Long Beach Office of Sustainability–which will discuss the rain barrels, mulch and grey water use; Long Beach City College, which will host a plant sale; and the Theodore Payne Foundation, which will sell California native seeds. A book signing session will also be available.

Key speakers include Bart O’Brien, Carol Bornstein, Joyce Barkley and Zach Kent. Bart O’ Brien is the Director of Special Projects at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden. O’Brien is the co-author of three books: the award winning “California Native Plants for the Garden,” “Care & Maintenance of Southern California Native Plant Gardens,” and “Reimagining the California Lawn: Water-conserving Plants, Practices, and Designs”. O’Brien is currently working on a variety of native plant projects which include leading the endangered and endemic vascular plants of northwestern Baja California. He will be co-curating the exhibit, “When They Were Wild” of the California native plant folk art at the Huntington’s Boone Gallery in Spring 2013.

Carol Bornstein is the Director Los Angeles Natural History Museum’s North Campus Project. In both the public and private sector, Bornstein has championed the landscape value of California’s native plants and the benefits of designing gardens in harmony with nature. She is the co-author of “Reimagining the California Lawn: Water-conserving Plants, Practices, and Designs,” and “California Native Plants for the Garden”.

Joyce Barkley is the Water Conservation Specialist for the Long Beach Water Department. She has worked with the award winning Lawn to Garden Program since its inception more than two years ago. Through this program, more than 650 Long Beach residents have converted their front yards from water guzzling lawns to beautiful California friendly gardens.

Zach Kent is the Stormwater Engineer of Bio Clean Environmental Services, Inc. Kent has more than seven years of experience in the storm-water industry. He has worked in several areas of the industry from maintenance, construction, inspection, engineering and compliance. He is also a registered Certified Inspector of Sediment and Erosion Control.

The Theodore Payne Foundation was founded in 1960 and currently operates a year-round California native plant nursery and education center that provides classes and field trips for people of all ages. Its mission is to preserve, propagate and promote California native plants and seeds, which emphasizes the beauty of habitat for wildlife and water savings.

The Water-Wise Workshop is Saturday, October 20, 2012 at Rancho Los Cerritos 4600 Virginia Road, Long Beach from 9 a.m. to noon. Cost for the workshop is $5 for members and full-time students, $7 for non-members. Advance reservations are requested by calling (562) 570-1755.

The workshop complements the newly restored arroyo at Rancho Los Cerritos. Thanks to funding from the Rivers and Mountains Conservancy and Rancho Los Cerritos Foundation, the museum was able to remove non-historic and invasive plant species and plant California natives. Participants will be encouraged to explore the new landscape.

Rancho Los Cerritos Historic Site is a public museum open for tours, programs, and events. The Rancho is located at 4600 Virginia Road in Long Beach, northwest of the intersection of Long Beach Boulevard and San Antonio Drive. Free public tours are offered Wednesday-Sunday from 1-5 p.m. Garden tours are also available every weekend at 2:30 p.m. Built in 1844, the adobe home and grounds echo with the rich history of Spanish, Mexican, and American California and with the families who helped transform Southern California from its ranching beginnings to the modern and urban society it is today. The site, a National, State and Long Beach Historic Landmark, also includes historic gardens and a research library and archives. It is owned by the City of Long Beach and operated through the Department of Parks, Recreation and Marine. For more information please call (562) 570-1755, or visit the website at www.rancholoscerritos.org and like us on Facebook.

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