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'Mother Nature's Backyard' - Our Vision

What is  'Mother Nature's Backyard'?

'Mother Nature's Backyard' is a water-wise demonstration garden located at the Gardena Willows Wetland Preserve in Gardena, California.  The garden features California native plants often used in local home gardens.  The Preserve is located at 1200 West 170th Street, in Gardena.   For more about the Preserve see Friends of Gardena Willows Wetland Preserve

Location of Gardena Willows Wetland Preserve

 'Mother Natures Backyard' is also a blog  about water-wise gardening  in western Los Angeles county.  We'll share how we planned and constructed the garden, how we water and  changes in the gardren over time.  We'll also talk about the birds, butterflies and other creatures that visit the garden and the gardening classes/workshops we offer. We'll offer tips about gardening with native plants - and let you know about volunteering opportunities.  We hope you'll want to add your own experiences through the years.

How did Mother Nature's Backyard come to be?

S. California’s South Bay, located in western Los Angeles county,  is a diverse urban region with relatively little green space.  Small nature preserves and home gardens play a key role in improving the quality of life in the South Bay. They also provide important wildlife habitat.  The need to conserve water makes maintaining these urban ‘green oases’ a continuing challenge. 

As part of our mission, the Friends of Gardena Willows provide environmental, scientific and educational opportunties to the community.  We favor hands-on teaching, learning by doing and getting our hands dirty.  What better way to teach about water-wise gardening than to create a native plant garden?  And so, the idea of Mother Nature's Backyard was born.

 ‘Mother Nature’s Backyard: A Water-wise Demonstration Garden’  demonstrates use of water-wise native plants, rainwater capture/infiltration and efficient irrigation methods. The garden looks like a local S. California backyard with a nice shady porch, shade trees and colorful flowers.  Educational materials – keyed to the garden and available in English & Spanish –  target home gardeners as well as landscape professionals.The garden  features many water-saving techniques including gutters, rain-barrels, a French drain and groundwater infiltration features.  Paths are made of several types of pervious paving.  Water-wise plants/mulches were chosen to be suitable & locally available for home gardeners. 
 Construction of the garden began in the fall of 2011.   The Garden was designed and installed  by the Friends of Gardena Willows Wetland Preserve and community volunteers.   The garden was funded by a major grant from the West Basin Municipal Water District and contributions from local businesses and  community members.   The garden is maintained by local community volunteers.

See the following article for more: http://www.sccnps.org/newsletters/newsletter_2012-3_july-september.pdf

For a trip through Mother Nature's Backyard from the beginning see: http://www.slideshare.net/cvadheim/mnby-through-the-years

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