The G3 Homeowner and Garden Steward Programs are interactive, hands-on, peer-to-peer training classes and workshops designed to motive people from all backgrounds and gardening experience toward advocating for and making more sustainable choices in their landscapes and gardens.
G3 offers four classes for homeowners and garden stewards: Watershed Basics Classes, Hands-on Workshops (HOWs), Garden Steward Series (Maintenance Practices), and Neighborhood Walks which are offered as both Watershed Wise Landscape Program and Branded Customized Programs. If you would like to sponsor a class, or become involved in putting together coalitions and writing grants to fund classes in your area, please Contact G3. All G3 Homeowner and Garden Steward Programs are taught by G3 Qualified Trainers, and are custom tailored for regional and client-specific messaging.
Watershed Basics Classes usually are sponsored by water providers, local city agencies or privately funded by organizations wanting to make a difference in the community.
The primary objective of the Watershed Basics Class is to help participants understand their connection with the urban watershed in which they live, demonstrate strategies for reducing potable water consumption, and teach rainwater retention through the creation of beautiful, sustainable, habitat-enhancing private landscapes.
The principles of sustainable landscaping are illustrated through several concepts including:
- Understanding the Underlying Environmental Issues of Your Watershed
- Assessing Your Site (Reading Your Water Bill and Budgeting Your Water)
- Developing a “Sense of Place” (Understanding Plant Water Requirements)
- Nurturing The “Soil Party” in Living Soil and Building a “Sponge Garden”
- Capturing “First Flush” and Eliminating Dry-weather Runoff
- Planting Climate-Appropriate Gardens and Selecting Local Native Plants
- Employing Low-flow Irrigation and Weather-based Irrigation Technology
- Empowering Yourself and Your Neighbors To Make And Sustain Changes
These in-garden learning events are designed to help people bridge the gap from conceptual learning in the classroom to implementation of best management practices in their home. The difficulty of the subject matter varies with the HOW topic, but all are professionally led and designed to provide valuable hands-on experience to the least skilled homeowners and property stewards as well as to knowledgeable professionals.
HOWs have been developed to cover the following sustainable landscaping topics
- Mini-Watershed Site Assessment
- Sheet Mulching / Turf Removal / Soil Remediation
- Downspout Redirect / Sponge Garden Construction
- Successful Native Habitat Planting / Drip Irrigation
- Advanced Rainwater Catchment Strategies / Curb Cutting
- Garden Stewardship (Maintenance) / Irrigation Controllers
HOWs can be experienced sequentially or individually. Taken in combination, all significant topics discussed in the classroom related to assessing a site and implementing watershed friendly landscaping solutions are covered by these six workshops.
G3 is developing its Garden Steward Series of workshops to bring people who maintain gardens (residential, commercial, and public) into their rightful role as stewards of the environment. At the core of the Garden Steward Series is a deep understanding of Water and Resource Management Techniques including:
- Plant/Soil/Water Relationship For Water Budgeting
- Irrigation Hydraulics and Troubleshooting
- Irrigation Controller Programming
- Elimination of Dry-Weather Runoff
- Creation of Living Soil Without Synthetic Inputs
- Sponge Garden Maintenance
- Healthy Plant Maintenance
The G3 Garden Steward Series was inspired by blending Santa Barbara, CA’s Green Gardener Program with various Water Management certification programs. As G3 is focused on teaching for understanding, the Garden Steward Series emphasizes hands-on, peer-to-peer training over classroom work, and is closely affiliated with the G3 HOWs. Workshops within the Series are offered in English and Spanish, and all course materials are translated into Spanish.
The objective of developing the Garden Steward Series, and pairing it with the Watershed Basics Classes and HOWs, is to create a Garden Steward Qualification. G3 is working with its Program Partners to ensure that this Qualification is recognized by property owners as a value-added skill set worth paying a living wage to gain the partnership of a trained landscape steward rather than a “mow, blow, go” garden janitor.
Who needs to wait until the next garden tour to see Watershed Friendly and Watershed Wise gardens? Neighborhood Walks are social, fun, organized, professionally led excursions through a regular neighborhood to better understand the elements of the local watershed that provide opportunities for improvement and those that deserve to be recognized as restorative for the watershed. Surfrider’s OFG Program utilizes Neighborhood Walks (Lawn Patrol) to introduce volunteers to the principles of C.P.R. and get momentum started for the OFG Program by spotting properties that qualify for an OFG Yard Sign, or are very close to qualifying.