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March 11, 2012 (Jamul) – The water saving garden at Jamul Primary School sports a new information board thanks to a generous grant from the Metropolitan Water District. The sign is part of an ambitious outdoor learning project, which demonstrates and promotes sustainable gardening practices in arid East San Diego County. The garden is a project of ARCHES, a local non-profit corporation.

“There are many water saving features in this garden’s design,” says Lois Young, one of the after school garden instructors. “Sunken beds, instead of raised beds, catch and contain more of our limited rainfall, and the beds don’t dry out as quickly. During dry months they require less irrigation.”

Future additions to the garden will include rain barrels and a water catchment system to collect rainwater off of two adjacent classroom roofs, and a living shade structure. “The community is giving us a lot of support for this garden project,” says Cass Crain, another garden instructor. “The Jamul-Dulzura Union School District has encouraged us from the very beginning. We receive lots of help from parent volunteers, the school PTA, and community businesses, like the Metropolitan Water District. And we believe this project gives equally to the community.”

Students and community members can learn about low water usage gardening practices, home water saving tips, water harvesting, and organic gardening techniques. Children and parents practice hands-on gardening every week, and the entire community observes the garden’s successes. Many become inspired to try these practices at home. The new sign will be an integral part of educating the community as the garden grows in our challenging climate.

For more information, please call Cass Crain at 619 368-6508 or email at cass.crain.arches@gmail.com.

ARCHES (Alpine Ranch Creative Health and Ecological Solutions) is a non-profit corporation dedicated to promoting sustainability and community through ecology, nutrition and the arts.  (www.archesinc.org)


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