Lot size: 1 acre native plant garden and nursery, 99% native
Garden Age: Garden was installed in stages, beginning in 1996
Years on the Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour: 5
Visit San Lorenzo High School’s one acre native plant garden, created by students from the former swimming pool, which had been bulldozed and filled with rubble. Now looking like a “natural garden that fell out of the sky,” the native forest, which is tended by the Druid Environmental Club and the Environmental Leadership in Action class, is used by high school biology and photography classes. Fourth grade students from nearby schools are taught, by the high school students, how Native Americans used native plants. (The high schoolers, who are regarded as rock stars by the younger students, love this activity.) Students propagate sixty species of native plants in their productive nursery. Proceeds from the plant sale support the school’s environmental program. Come for the plants; stay for the students!
- Bring your children! Native American games, arts and crafts, acorn pounding, and make-and-take home nature activities will be available. View the transparent bee hive of Joe’s Honey all day.
- Enjoy the East Bay Parks Mobile Visitor Center Van from 10:00-3:00. There will be hands-on activities about local wildlife, how wildlife interact with native plants, and why converting your garden to one that contains native plants will provide habitat for wildlife. There will also be activities related to Native Californians use of native plants.
- Make this your lunchtime stop! Delicious Mexican food will available for purchase from 11:00–3:00.
- Native garden designs will be available for sale from the San Lorenzo Homeowners Association.
- California Native Plant Society, Project Eat, Earth Team, Save the Bay, Eden Area Food Alliance Community Gardens, Friends of San Lorenzo Creek, and the Oro Loma Sanitary District (ask about the District’s impressive shoreline restoration project, in which it recently planted 70,000 local native plants!) will staff tables.
- EBMUD staff will let you know how you can receive up to $2.00 a sq. foot for removing your lawn.
- Tour the vegetable garden, enjoy gardening demonstrations, and sample delicious food from the garden.
- Restrooms are available.
Cedar waxwings, chestnut-backed chickadees, and finches visit the garden. Cooper’s hawks soar overhead.
Buy a delicious lunch, and enjoy it in the garden!
Drop in for cheese enchiladas, rice, beans, and a salad; purchase fresh fruit and cold drinks as well! Funds support the school.
10:00 “How to attract bees and butterflies to your garden with native plants” by Sharon Horgan
11:00 and 1:00 “How to replace your lawn with natives the cheap and easy way, and get paid for it, too!—includes handouts” by San Lorenzo High students, Sandra Nevala-Lee of Green Thumb Works, Steve Wiley, and a representative from EBMUD
2:30 “Ten native plants needed to create a Native American school garden and curriculum—includes handouts” by Steve Wiley
Plants for Sale
More than sixty species of native plants, including monkeyflowers, flowering currants, yerba buena, native grape, St. Catherine’s lace, several types of manzanita, ferns, and fuchsia will be available in exchange for donations. Ask the volunteers to help you select plants that will do well in your garden! Cash and checks only.
Plants for Sale