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.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Winter break clean-up & Bay-Friendly sign

The Dixie Loop earned a total of 121 points under the following 7 Bay-Friendly Landscape Principles:

21 pts Landscape Locally
17 pts Less to the Landfill
15 pts Nurture the Soil
26 pts Conserve Water
6 pts Conserve Energy
22 pts Protect Water & Air Quality
14 pts Create & Protect Wildlife Habitat
This means that the Dixie Loop has exceeded conventional landscape practices.
Thanks to Cagwin and Dorward (C&D) who relocated the baby oak tree from the Loop to the location of the previous oak tree that had died. We also planted two Arbutus unedo trees, also known as Strawberry Trees, to provide shade and protection for our baby oak until it grows big and strong. A crew from C&D also did a lot of winter weeding and clean-up during the ski-week winter break.
Additionally, we put up the Bay-friendly sign and planted California native poppies which will bloom in the coming months. So keep an eye open for these newcomers.