In fall of 2007, the landscape architecture firm of April Philips Design Works, Inc. and the landscape construction company of Cagwin & Dorward, in conjunction with Dixie Elementary School and numerous donors and volunteers, completed a Rain Garden in the drop off loop at Dixie Elementary School in San Rafael, California. The beautification project is a demonstration garden that educates the students and community about ecology, sustainability, as well as being a case study garden to advance sustainable landscaping industry practices beyond the current status quo. We especially wish to thank the Dixie Home and School Club and the Dixie School District for their generosity and support.

Located in a 3,800 sq foot median within the school’s main entry and vehicular drop-off, the derelict looking landscape had never been developed or planted due to insufficient school funding and water conservation requirements. The design team chose to design a garden that would reflect its Mediterranean, coastal bioregion and meet the following goals: 100% zero waste, pesticide free, rely on predominantly native vegetation, use only organic soil amendments to increase permeability and water retention of the local soils. In addition, to use only local recycled and salvaged materials, total reliance on seasonal rain water instead of irrigation and to be designed and built by 100% volunteer effort in order to be economically viable.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Fall is here!

Edwin Way Teale said: "For man, autumn is a time of harvest, of gathering together. For nature, it is a time of sowing, of scattering abroad."

On Monday, September 22, was the first day of Fall and the Dixie loop is starting to produce seeds. These seeds are a great source of food for small animals, like birds and rodents, to prepare for the winter. Soon the rains will start, so pay attention to the loop filling up with water.

Monday, September 22, 2008

National Park(ing) Day

PARK(ing) Day was Friday, September 19, 2008!
PARK(ing) Day is a one-day, global event, centered in San Francisco where artists, activists, and citizens team up to temporarily transform metered parking spots into temporary public parks and paved parking spaces into temporary green gardens. National Park(ing) Day is an opportunity to celebrate parks in cities and promote the need for more parks for pedestrians and more habitats for other creatures.
The event was started in 2005 by ReBar, an art collective based in San Francisco, and is meant to challenge urbanites to think about what our public spaces would be like if they were designed for the pedestrian, rather than the car.
Afterwards, donate the green materials used to create your temporary park.
For more information check out the website at http://www.parkingday.org/
April Philips Design Works also created a quick park in one of their parking lots. By creativly placing pavers, furniture and plants, the lot was transformed and the office members enjoyed it's one day presence.