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October 2, 2011 (Rancho San Diego)—The Water Conservation Garden, in partnership with the San Diego County Watershed Protection Program, has opened a new exhibit that highlights storm water pollution prevention.  The  public is invited to view the new exhibit any time during its normal operating hours—9am-4pm, 7 days a week.  The new exhibit features a permeable pavement installation, complete with re-circulating fountain, situated alongside a straw bale house with a green, living roof.  Funding for the exhibit comes from a generous grant from the County of San Diego’s Watershed Protection Program.


Permeable pavement is an innovation that allows water to flow through the surface material to the soil layer below, preventing water from flowing into the storm drain.  Although we typically receive limited rainfall in San Diego, our extensively paved surfaces—roads, sidewalks, and other impermeable surfaces-- contribute to toxic urban runoff, as water has nowhere to go but into storm drains, carrying pollutants from paved surfaces with it.  Urban runoff has a negative impact on sea life, ocean habitat, tourism, and recreational use of beaches. 
“We are fortunate to partner with the County’s Watershed Protection Program to bring awareness to the public about how they can help to protect our watersheds and prevent storm water pollution,” said Marty Eberhardt, The Garden’s Executive Director.  “Through this partnership we have not only expanded our exhibits, but have also expanded our workshop curriculum to include information on green roofs and permeable pavement that will assist homeowners in incorporating these sustainable alternatives into their homes. From our perspective, the first step  is to  use only the water you need, and the second is to prevent pollution with the water you do use.”
About the Water Conservation Garden;
Opened in 1999, the Garden is dedicated to promoting water conservation in the southern California landscape through excellent exhibits and programs that educate and inspire the public.  The Garden is supported by memberships, donations, grants, and water agency support.  For more information, please visitwww.thegarden.org or call 619-660-0614x10.

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