Thursday, January 3, 2013

Take a virtual tour of the Water Conservation Garden at Cuyamaca College

The Water Conservation Garden at Cuyamaca College
A new video tour of the Water Conservation Garden at Cuyamaca College provides a preview for first-time visitors of all that the garden offers – and some valuable water conservation lessons that will benefit both college students and gardeners.
The video, available on the Water Conservation Garden’s website at, features the garden’s ambassador, Ms. Smarty-Plants™, as tour guide. It takes viewers through the various areas of the six-acre garden, from the Bird and Butterfly Garden to the Bamboo Patio Exhibit and the Amphitheater. Ms. Smarty-Plants™ illustrates water conservation tips, such as showing how a redesigned backyard using drought-tolerant techniques went from using 28,000 gallons of water per year to 6,000 gallons a year.
The 12 ½-minute video was created as one part of a $535,000 state grant to a consortium led by Cuyamaca College that is creating curriculum for water and wastewater technology programs at community colleges across the state. Simi Rush, program manager for the California Waterworks grant, said the video is designed to highlight best practices in water conservation and to teach college students in the program.

“This garden is a wonderful nonprofit organization with a lot of aesthetic appeal, but it also serves as a teaching organization,” Rush said. “We are pleased to assist in showcasing their work through the virtual tour as a global resource.”
Cuyamaca College is partnering with five other California community colleges in the state grant issued late last year. The curriculum in water and wastewater technology that the colleges create will be made available to all of California’s 112 community colleges looking to start or upgrade their job training programs in the field.
The other colleges participating in the grant are: College of the Redwoods (Eureka); Santa Rosa Junior College (Sonoma County); Gavilan College (Gilroy/Salinas); College of the Canyons (Santa Clarita/Valencia); and Santiago Canyon College (Orange County).
The Water Conservation Garden, which opened in 1999, is designed to showcase water conservation through a series of themed gardens, how-to displays and programs on drought-tolerant landscaping. The garden is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Admission is by suggested donation.