• Sonoma County Living Learning Landscapes

Sustainable SRJC logo

 

Community Engagement

Living Learning Landscapes

Sonoma County Living Learning Landscapes is a partnership between SRJC, The Habitat Corridor Project, The UC Master Gardeners of Sonoma County, Santa Rosa Water, Sonoma Marin Saving Water Partnership, and California Native Plant Society - Milo Baker Chapter. Its efforts have been made possible by donations of time and expertise from all these groups, as well as material donations from nurseries, irrigation supply companies, the local waste hauler, and more.

The Sonoma County Water Agency funded the Master Gardener's and the Habitat Corridor Project to design firewise demonstration gardens for planting on SRJC campus land. These designs would meet MWELO standards for Sonoma County residents. 

This project meets the three pillars of sustainability:

  • Environment - This partnership removes water-intensive non-native plant species and replaces them with water-wise landscapes. 
  • Equity - These gardens grow plants that will work for different areas of Sonoma County and different skill sets. Some workforce development will be provided during the gardens' installation.
  • Economics - Since the gardens' plans will be available online for free, anyone who is interested in using them to transform their own gardens can do so without having to hire a landscape architect. Additionally, native landscapes require less maintenance, which will benefit our overburdened facilities department.

 

Students gardening for Living Learning Landscapes

 

more students gardening for living learning landscapes

 

Student Group Photo for Living Learning Landscapes

 

Any Line, Any Time

The Any Line, Any Time program allows SRJC students to ride free on all local bus lines (Sonoma County Transit, Petaluma Transit, and Santa Rosa CityBus) by showing their current SRJC ID instead of paying a fare. SRJC is currently in a three-year contract - with an extension approved by City Council for another term when it expires - by which the transit providers have agreed to subsidize the cost of students' rides.

This project meets the three pillars of sustainability:

  • Environment - Transportation is our city's (and county's) biggest contributor of greenhouse gases, and the use of public transportation can help shrink this footprint.
  • Equity - Subsidizing transportation throughout Sonoma County extends opportunities for and beyond campus commuting to our entire student population.
  • Economics - This program is sustained by a student transportation fee.

 

SR City Bus

 

SR City Bus Riders

 

Daily Acts

Funded by the Coastal Conservancy and Prop. 1, Daily Acts partnered with the Sonoma County Water Agency, Conservation Corps North Bay (CCNB), and three Sonoma County schools to convert 20,000 square feet of lawn and asphalt into water-conscious habitat gardens. Beginning October 17th, 2017, and continuing through spring 2018, Daily Acts worked with crews from CCNB at Santa Rosa Junior College, El Molino High School, and Guerneville Elementary to sheet mulch, dig rain gardens, install irrigation, and plant water-wise species.

At each site, Daily Acts provided training and program management to the CCNB crews, as well as green job skills for sustainable landscaping practices where appropriate - such as sheet mulching, water-wise native plants, drip irrigation, and rainwater catchment. Crew members had the opportunity to learn more about native plants' uses and needs as they pertained to the approved planting plan. After installation, crew members built a drip irrigation system to ensure the survival of each plant, gaining an understanding of the components of such systems. At certain sites, crew members helped install in-ground water catchment features such as swales and rain gardens in addition to above-ground water storage tanks.

By converting a total of 20,000 square feet of irrigated lawn and impervious surface into a permeable, water-wise garden, about 500,000 gallons of water will be saved annually. Daily Acts developed a maintenance plan for each site, and ongoing meetings with our facilities department will help ensure that the landscape lives up to its full potential in years to come.

This project meets the three pillars of sustainability:

  • Environment - This partnership removes water-intensive non-natives and replaces them with water-wise landscapes. 
  • Equity - The installation of this project involved a conservation corps which focuses on workforce education.
  • Economics - Native landscapes require less maintenance, which will benefit our stretched facilities department.