Most landscapes are planted and cultivated for vibrant plants. Sustainable landscapes are planted and cultivated for a vibrant future.
In a span of approximately six months in 2010, initiated with volunteered design plans from Palomar College Environmental Architecture and Design students and continued with donations from various businesses and assistance from organizations in the community and many District employees, Vallecitos Water District now has a beautiful, sustainable demonstration garden that uses minimal resources as a benefit to all.
One important sustainable feature is the garden’s rain water harvesting system. Lowering reliance on potable water, the system collects rain from the roof that would otherwise be wasted and stores it in three tanks with a combined 2,500 gallons of capacity. The captured water from the system supplies water to prominent water features located throughout the garden. Similarly, the units run on solar power, easing reliance on electricity from the California grid.
Further resource savings are demonstrated through the use of California-friendly plants. When combined with plant-nurturing mulch, compost and biosolid pellets (a fertilizer made from recycled wastewater solids that are produced at a treatment plant partially owned by Vallecitos), the plants are bolstered with moisture and nutrients. This eliminates the need for chemical fertilizers, which can be harmful to the environment.
With the final complements of a weather-based irrigation controller display, shade structures constructed of durable aluminum instead of wood, dry riverbeds, artificial turf, micro-irrigation, and an artistic sculpture demonstrating the value of water, Vallecitos’ sustainable demonstration garden boasts the perfect blend to please aesthetically while not putting unnecessary additional demand on limited resources for the future.
In 2013, Vallecitos’ Sustainable Garden was recognized as a “Certified Wildlife Habitat” by the National Wildlife Federation for providing food, water, cover and place for wildlife to raise their young. It was also recognized as a “Certified Earth Friendly Garden” by the Master Gardeners Association of San Diego County. In 2017, the garden was recognized as an "Ocean Friendly Garden" by the Surfrider Foundation.
The Sustainable Garden is one of the few locations in north San Diego County that demonstrates sustainability for all to visit. Hours of accessibility are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Click here for more information or to enjoy a guided tour of the garden, email or contact our Conservation Department at (760) 744-0460.