- Author: Mimi M Enright
The UC Master Gardener Program of Sonoma County (MGSC) Garden Sense program via its sponsoring organization, Sonoma Water, was named the recipient of the Smart Water Application Technologies (SWAT) Outstanding Public Engagement Award on October 29, 2020.This award recognizes a water provider with a successful program focused on public engagement and education on smart, efficient irrigation technologies and practices.
The Garden Sense program, initiated in September 2013, is available free of cost to any Sonoma County resident. MGSC presently has 46 trained volunteer Garden Sense consultants who meet with residents in their gardens to evaluate their existing landscaping and irrigation practices, and advise them on how to increase their irrigation efficiency, reduce or remove their lawns, and create climate-appropriate gardens based on their functional needs. Over 900 client consultations have been conducted since the program inception.
Clients who have received a Garden Sense visit are surveyed and asked to rate how helpful the program has been in helping them complete their lawn removal project and/or change their home irrigation practices. The majority of respondents indicated that the visit was either ‘Very helpful' or that they ‘Could not have done it without them'. Conservative estimates of water savings as a result of Garden Sense consultations are equivalent to 26 million gallons of water over the life of the program! One of our clients who was new to the Sonoma County area stated:
“We couldn't have done it without them . . . their advice and expertise was essential to our successfully creating a low water-use landscape. Thank you so much!”
Visit Garden Sense for more information
about the program, or to request a visit.
- Author: Mimi Enright
They were there to accept the first place award in the 'Community Service' category of the IMG's Search for Excellence for the Garden Sense program. They were proud to represent the hard work & commitment of all of the Garden Sense consultants who make the water conservation program such a huge success. There were over 900 Master Gardeners in attendance at the conference from the United States, Canada and South Korea.
- Author: Mimi Enright
Did you know that a low water garden in Sonoma County on average uses a third of the water that a lawn requires? For example, a 1,000 square foot water-wise garden uses 5,000 to 10,000 gallons per year, while the same size lawn uses more than 22,000 gallons per year. It's been a dry year; and helping educate Sonoma County homeowners on water conservation practices addresses the importance of reducing residential landscape water usage.
Master Gardeners are trained in water management, irrigation systems, site assessment, low-water use plants and sustainable gardening practices. The primary objective is to help home gardeners remove lawns and install drought tolerant plants that do well in Sonoma County. Garden Sense consultants are available to make a home visit to any Sonoma County residence to discuss how a homeowner can easily conserve water (and save money) by creating a climate-appropriate garden that is healthy, environmentally sound, and most of all – beautiful. More information is available on the Sonoma County Master Gardener's web site at Garden Sense.