Everyone with a water-thirsty lawn has been thinking hard about alternatives these days, and water districts are encouraging lawn replacement through rebates. Sheet mulching is a great way to start the process because it kills the lawn without resorting to herbicides, and it leaves in place valuable topsoil and organics. We would like to develop a program integrating lawn replacement with education about the use of native plants, incentives to use local natives—from Native Here Nursery, of course—and expertise in designing beautiful, functional, wildlife-friendly and biodiverse gardens—all while helping raise funds for the Chapter.

How can we do this? Lesley Hunt and I recently took a participation workshop on sheet mulching. We found it easier than an ordinary day as a weed warrior. We could organize crews to sheet mulch lawns, with the proceeds going to the Chapter. The homeowner, in addition to receiving a valuable service, would also receive written materials providing education about using natives in landscaping, incentives and discounts for purchases at Native Here Nursery, and a portfolio of gardens and list of designers willing to commit to using at least 30 percent local natives in the new, low water use garden.

Would you like to help us? We need estimators, schedulers, publicists, and lots of people who are willing to spend a portion of their Saturday once in awhile to benefit our Chapter. No special skills are necessary. If you would like to find out more, we will hold an organizational meeting on Thursday, July 9 at 7:30 pm at Barbara Leitner’s home—2 Parkway Court, Orinda. Please join us!

Barbara Leitner and Lesley Hunt