Teacher, students alter school landscaping

SAN MARCOS — In recognition of Earth Day, a teacher and a group of students at San Marcos Middle School decided to do something original — alter a small portion of the campus’ landscape to reflect the type of plants that were most likely present on the property prior to the school’s existence.
Lawrence Osen and approximately 10 volunteer students recently completed their task of transforming a small waiting area that primarily contained bark and rocks to a native California-friendly garden.
Besides bringing beauty to the area, the garden’s alternate purpose will be to demonstrate water-wise native plants to students, staff and visitors of the school, who in turn, can plant similar plants at their residences and assist the community with conservation in this period of difficult water supply.
“Water-wise natives are good for everyone,” Osen said. “They’re good for classrooms because students can share ideas with parents about the benefits of water-wise plants.” Osen hopes all schools in Southern California will transform their landscapes similarly to preserve the environment.
The new garden will feature a Bush Monkey flower, as well as an assortment of other water-wise plants. The project received financial support from the Vallecitos Water District, who actively promotes native plant demonstration gardens due to their ability to significantly reduce landscape water usage.
The plants were supplied by Las Pilitas Nursery in Escondido, which specializes in California-friendly plants.

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