Southern Californians who want to learn the secrets of water-wise native landscaping have a rare opportunity to take a two-hour class taught by an expert from the Theodore Payne Foundation for Wild Flowers and Native Plants, free of charge.
The classes are part of the Los Angeles Police Department Topanga Area's new project, Topanga Restoring its Urban Ecosystem, or T.R.U.E.
Captain Tom Brascia says the idea for landscaping the six-acre property with native plants came from a community member after city budget cuts left the Topanga Area station, which opened in 2009, with no money for landscape maintenance. The mix of native and non-native plants on the property will be replaced with native plants that use one-seventh of the water required by most non-native plants. The project also includes a rain garden that will catch rainwater from the roof and the patio.
Inspired by the Adopt-A-Highway program, Captain Brascia is inviting local businesses, groups and individuals to become involved by adopting part of the landscape, which has been divided into 21 zones. Sponsors can participate by volunteering their time to water and tend the new plants, or by making a tax-deductible contribution to the Topanga Boosters to help pay for professional maintenance. The Topanga Boosters are covering the cost of the landscaping project, which is being done without any tax dollars.
Students from the nearby Miller Career and Transition Center will join other volunteers and T.R.U.E. sponsors at the Topanga Area station on October 20 for the big day of planting, beginning at 8:00 a.m.
As part of the T.R.U.E. project, the LAPD is inviting the public to attend a two-hour Gardening with California Native Plants Workshop. Participants will learn how to install drought-tolerant native plants in their own gardens so they can enjoy the benefits of a garden that saves water and also provides a habitat for wildlife.
The free class will be offered twice, first on Tuesday, October 9 from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m., and again on Thursday, October 18, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Lisa Novick, Director of Outreach and K-12 Education for the Theodore Payne Foundation, will conduct the workshops, which will be held in the community room of the LAPD Topanga Area station, located at 21501 Schoenborn Street in Canoga Park.
To attend the classes, volunteer to help plant the new landscape, become a sponsor, or for more information, contact the LAPD Topanga Area station by e-mail at email@example.com or call 818-756-3180.