Ventura County, CaliforniaUpdates from Ventura County Chapter—Protecting our local ocean and beaches from source to surf
Water Wise Watering Class – May 3rd: Ventura Water is offering a water wise class to save water by tuning up and managing outdoor watering. Learn how to irrigate your landscape efficiently with the use of drip, rotating nozzles, and smart controllers that maximize water and energy efficiency. Ewing Irrigation professional Raul Topete will lead this hands-on, informational and educational class from 10 – 11:30 a.m. at the City of Ventura Sanjon Maintenance Yard (336 Sanjon Rd.). Sign up today here or call (805) 652-4501.
Design With Native Gardens – May 17th: Learn how to design beautiful landscapes with native plants! Casitas MWD is hosting a workshop from 9 a.m. -12 p.m. at Oak View Park and Resource Center (555 Mahoney). Cinnamon McIntosh, Water Conservation Specialist, will present on using native plants in your garden. The workshop will have an interactive component where attendees get to practice using the newly taught skills related to design. RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org or (805-649-2251 ext. 118)
California Friendly Landscape Class (Port Hueneme) – May 17th: In Port Hueneme G3, Green Gardens Group will be giving a three hour California Friendly Landscape Class sponsored by Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and hosted by Port Hueneme and supported by Calleguas Municipal Water District. Come learn about how you can turn your garden into a mini-watershed with conservation, permeability and retention! The Class will be held from 9am – 12pm at Port Hueneme City Hall. The event is free, but registration is required. Contact Sherry Claborn email@example.com.
California Friendly Landscape Class (Moorpark) – May 17th: For those of you who are further south in Ventura County, on the same day G3 will be giving the California Friendly Landscape Class in Moorpark 9am – 12 pm. The class will be hosted by Ventura County Waterworks and supported by Calleguas Municipal Water District. The event is also free, but registration is required. Contact Karen Goodman or Anne Dana at 508-378-3000 or email: firstname.lastname@example.orgemail@example.com
Ojai Valley Green Coalition-Water Saving Landscapes – May 30: see the Ojai Valley Green Coalition website for details.
SoCal Bloomers Class – June 14th: Love plants but not sure which ones are best for your garden? Discover colorful, climate-appropriate plants to incorporate beautifully into your water-wise landscape. Lisa Burton of Nature by Design will lead this informative, free class from 10 – 11:30 a.m. at the City of Ventura Sanjon Maintenance Yard (336 Sanjon Rd.). Recognized as a leader in sustainable landscape design, Burton has been installing lawn alternatives, such as Ocean Friendly Gardens and Wildlife Habitat Gardens, for more than a decade in Ventura County. Sign up today here or call (805) 652-4501.
Last week, Surfrider members and The Refill Shoppe employees toured Gold Coast Recycling Facility. Participants got to see arrival of delivery trucks, sorting lines, packing for processing, and a whole lot of recyclables! Take away note from the tour – when in doubt, recycle. To learn more about the facility and what you can/cannot recycle, check out their website.We are so grateful for the time staff took out of their busy day to show us the site and for all of the dirty work that employees do every day. Thank you, Gold Coast Recycling!
Just a glimpse at facility equipment (Photo credit: The Refill Shoppe)
Piles of rubbish waiting to be sorted – Can you count the plastic bags?
(Note: Plastic bags and film plastics are NOT recyclable)
(Photo credit: The Refill Shoppe)
Nan Drake from Gold Coast tells Surfrider participants about the sorting lines
Tractor pushes recyclables into a pile to be loaded on the sorting belts
Paper sorting belt
Plastic cosmetic bottle that has lost its way
Some of the tour participants and staff
Congratulations to Ventura Surfrider’s Rise Above Plastics Campaign for winning FIRST PLACE in the Ventura St. Patrick’s Day Parade under the category of Public Awareness!
Here are some photos from the parade. To see more, check out our FB page!
The Bag Monster in Action
Andy and Tom proudly march in the parade with the Surfrider banner
The Bag Monster Parade wagon all geared up
A special thanks to our parade participants: Gerry, Evan, Elisa, Tom, and Andy as well as to Bob for handling logistics!
Carolina Murillo (left) and Renee Roth (right), where Carolina is explaining qualities of low water using plants.
Ninety people attended the event, where Ron Merkling of Casitas Water talked about the drought conditions, Renee Roth was the “Voice of the Watershed” and talked about ways to remove turf to conserve water in the landscape and reduce runoff, and Carolina Murillo talked about low water using plants and how to grow plants to conserve water.
In light of tonight’s Ventura City Council Meeting, which will be addressing a proposed reusable bag ordinance, I thought I’d put up the first of what I hope will be several How To posts for Ventura County Surfrider Activists.
How to Attend a City Council Meeting
First, find out where to go. Our Links page can get you started for most cities in Ventura County. Once you find the city’s website, you may have to do some digging to get the location. For example, here are the directions to Ventura City Hall. You’ll notice that it’s a jpg file, which makes it inaccessible to some people. Leave yourself enough time to contact the City or a friend to make sure you end up in the right place.
Second, know what you’re going to say—if anything. That’s right, you can go to a council meeting to support a cause you believe in without doing any public speaking! If you keep track of your cause through Facebook or other means, you may find that your fellow activists are marking themselves in some way, such as wearing blue shirts. Using this marker is the first way you can help without speaking. Whether or not there is a “team uniform”, one of the activists who speaks before the council may ask any supporters in the room to identify themselves. That’s your moment—stand up or raise your hand. Congratulations, you’ve made your opinion known to your elected representatives!
If you do want to express your opinion in your own words, there are a couple of options that might present themselves. Some council meetings offer the chance to submit comment cards. If you prefer the written word, this option’s for you. The other option is to volunteer to speak. You will most likely have to submit a speaker card to get in line for the podium. If you’re uncomfortable with writing, or extremely passionate about an issue, it is okay to make yourself heard! The City Council is here to represent you and your fellow residents.
Tips for preparing remarks:
1) Know your subject well. You don’t have to be perfect (if the city needs to hear from professional experts, they can hire them), but you should be well-informed on your cause.
2) Find out the rules. How do you get in line to speak? How long are you permitted to speak? Can you use visual aids?
3) Keep track of time. Meetings and hearings generally focus on more than one issue. This means you may not want to sit through the entire thing. Find out when your cause is on the agenda so that you don’t miss it.
4) Dress the part. If your role in the community is what’s important, dress to fit that role. If you’re not sure what to wear, business casual is always okay. Whatever you wear, try to be clean and tidy.
5) Be polite and interesting. Greet the council (e.g. “Good evening”), and keep your remarks to the point. The object is not to beat the other side in terms of total minutes spoken. It’s to create the most impact on your audience.
7) Make it personal. Emphasize that you’re a local. You are a taxpayer, a voter, a business owner, a laborer, a teacher, a student, a parent, a surfer. You play an important role in your community, and the cause you are passionate about plays an important part in your life.
Welcome to the newest iteration of the Surfrider Foundation-Ventura County Chapter website! We hope you like it. Occasionally, this space will host blog posts on current activities and issues of interest. For more information, explore the menus above.
You can contact us by emailing our Volunteer Coordinator. If you’d like to become a member, click the big orange button on the right of your screen. You can find us at many county events; just look for the stylish tablecloths under the big blue tent.