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.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Bay-Friendly Certified!

In the spring of 2009, APDW submitted a folder to be reviewed for the Bay-Friendly Certificate. This award allows the participant to get a total of 186 points of which 60 are required to receive the certification. APDW submitted its project information with the goal to achieve 120 points. After the committee's review, APDW received its total 121 points for the Dixie Elementary School Loop and the project was Bay-Friendly Certified.


What is Bay-Friendly Landscaping?
Bay-Friendly Ladscaping is a whole systems approach to the design, creation and maintenance of the landscape in order to support the integrity of one of California's most wonderful ecosystems, the San Francisco Bay watershed. A well-designed and maintained Bay-Friendly Landscape can cost less to maintain in the long run by consuming fewer resources. For the Dixie Loop, the Bay-Friendly Landscape symbolizes community values for health, wildlife and the environment. It also addresses issues such as lowering water use and garbage bills. Check out Stopwaste.org.
Next Steps:
APDW is currently working on identifying grant funding for future Educational Signage, which will explain the Bay-Friendly Landscape processes and goals at the Dixie Loop.