Rancho to host various water conservationists during workshop

Rancho Los Cerritos Historic Site will host a Water-Wise Workshop on Saturday, Oct. 20 with appearances by environmental experts from 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 workshop will take place from 9am. to noon and costs $7 for general admission and $5 for members and full-time students. Advance reservations are requested and can be made by calling (562) 570-1755.
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 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 will include Bart O’Brien, Carol Bornstein, Joyce Barkley and Zach Kent. O’Brien is the director of special projects at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden. He is the co-author of three books: the award-winning California Native Plants for the Garden, Care and 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.
Bornstein is the director of the 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.
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 California-friendly gardens.
Kent is the stormwater engineer of Bio Clean Environmental Services, Inc. He 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 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, replacing them with California natives. Participants will be encouraged to explore the new landscape.
Rancho Los Cerritos Historic Site is located at 4600 Virginia Rd., northwest of the intersection of Long Beach Boulevard and San Antonio Drive. For more information call (562) 570-1755 or visit rancholoscerritos.org .

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