Ocean Friendly Gardens Activist Toolkit/Objectives
|Ocean Friendly Gardens Activist Toolkit|
Chapter 2: Starting an OFG Program: Fundamentals and Objectives
You don’t need to know everything about gardening or landscaping to start an OFG Program. At every level of OFG, you are encouraged to collaborate with water agencies, other non-profits and professionals, and use the materials developed for Surfrider Foundation chapters and members (brochure, book, website). Chances are that there is a lot of sustainable landscaping going on in your area, and you just need to get plugged in to the existing network. There are some fundamentals that you need to brush up on in order speak the same language as a landscape professional.
Fundamentals: Soil Science + Watershed Approach
A little knowledge of soil science and watersheds (how the earth works and is connected to the ocean) will help you in being effective in creating successful OFGs. Healthy soil acts like a sponge, holding onto water for use by plants, and also filtering out potential pollutants. A basic foundation is provided in the OFG Basics Class slideshow (see Appendix). Other good sources:
- National Resource Conservation Service’s urban soils guide
- Dr. Elaine Ingham’s work on the amazing life in soil
To get the “bigger picture” on watersheds and integrating water quality and supply, there are several good videos to watch:
- “From Sea to Summit” – a 19 minute introduction to how watersheds work.
Here’s a good introduction to OFG and similar “tools:”
- “Slow the Flow: How to Make Your Landscape More Like a Sponge” - a 30-minute documentary on OFG-type solutions that features the San Francisco, CA OFG Program, Plant-Don’t-Pave. Downloadable at http://www.swrcb.ca.gov/stormfilm/
Objectives and Strategy: Build Chapter and Program Capacity
- Build on other Surfrider programs - beach clean-ups, Blue Water Task Force (BWTF), green streets - providing meaningful, scale-able tasks that make a difference in pollution prevention and restoring functioning watersheds.
- Support chapter volunteers and property owners and renters through education, training and hands-on assistance to apply CPR at home, work and public spaces.
- Spark change in every neighborhood and community through highly visible, community-building projects. Encourage those who receive help from a chapter OFG program to pay-it-forward by helping others, e.g., join an OFG Committee and become “ambassadors” in their neighborhood. This way we can scale-up OFG and spark a movement.
- Collaborate with government agencies so they incorporate OFG principles and practices into policies, programs and regulations. Collaborate with local landscape professionals to help lead OFG Program components and incorporate OFG into their own projects.