Mulch For the People
We are proud that a discussion of mulch featured prominently at a recent Pasadena City Council meeting on June 1, 2015. Laura Garrett of the Environmental Advisory Commission talked about the problems with replacing turf with gravel, and promoted mulch and native plants, as well as water capture and reuse. Councilmember Victor Gordo asked, "Do we have a mulch program?" and said that his constituents wanted to know. Charles Peretz from Pasadena Public Works said that they were working to expand the mulch program because advocates called ‘Mulch for Pasadena’ (close enough) had been meeting with them.
The last time Pasadena City Council deliberated on the drought, last summer, there was no mention of mulch at all. So this change in Pasadenans’ awareness of the benefits of mulch is cause to celebrate!
Meeting with us on April 15, Charles Peretz of Pasadena Public Works said that a second mulch distribution location will be provided somewhere on the west side of Pasadena, where mulch chipped after trimming of city trees on parkways and parks will be delivered on a Monday once a month for residents to use, in addition to the current Friday distribution at Victory Park. The city hopes to have the details worked out in the next couple of months.
We also recently met with Ursula Schmidt, the Water Conservation officer at Pasadena Water & Power, and Gabe Silva, the Zero Waste specialist with public works. We suggested the following ways their departments could help:
- Provide city mulch deliveries to low-income residents;
- Add a link to an online application that allows low-income families to have mulch delivered to their homes.
- Provide hands-on turf-removal workshops at city properties, such as fire stations, when the city removes its turf; and
- Add links to the MWD turf-removal website that shows how to use cardboard and mulch to remove turf, and to provide a schedule of workshops where people can learn how to remove their lawns by using cardboard and mulch.
Mulch is very effective for replacing your lawn by smothering it. Laying down cardboard and topping it with a thick mulch will knock down most grasses. The cardboard blocks the sunlight and mulch keeps the cardboard from flying away and as the organic matter breaks down it becomes a slow release fertilizer for your new plants.
To get involved, follow our Facebook Page, and contact your City Councilmember to support more of these programs to jumpstart water conservation.
Spread the word - Spread the mulch!
— Sylvia Holmes & Lin Griffith
Mulch For the People
Photo by Sylvia Holmes