Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Water-Wise Wednesday

This week we have some great news. Maybe you've already heard about the rebate program for converting your high water use landscape to a low water use landscape. As of April 22nd, those rebates have doubled! Due to the severe drought conditions, through September 30th you can earn $2 per square foot from Santa Clara Valley Water District's Landscape Conversion Rebate Program.  As the saying goes, some conditions apply.

Be sure you get pre-approval before killing or removing your lawn. They will need to know what you started with to get a baseline. Consult their Qualifying Plant List. That's not as restrictive as it may sound - the sucker's 15 pages long so there's a good chance you can find plants you'll be happy with. If you have an irrigation system, it will need to be converted to a drip system. This is easier than it sounds. It's easily within DIY parameters. Finally, make sure that once you've received your approval, your landscaping is completed within 90 days.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Water-Wise Wednesday: Going Native Garden Tour

What would you guess is our nation's number one irrigated crop? Corn? Wheat? Oranges? The answer might surprise you: It's turf grass.

Lawns began to permeate our culture roughly 100 years ago in order to emulate the estates of Europe. America's vast expanses of land and the invention of gas-powered mowers after WWII made it increasingly easy for us to give our land the same treatment once reserved for royalty. The areas adjacent to homes, once reserved for native, edible, and medicinal plants gave way to the monoculture grass we call lawns.

Though we have gotten to the point of optimizing our lawn care, it continues to take a toll on our resources. And though we are fortunate that the Santa Clara Valley Water District has done an excellent job of maintaining our aquifers, we also rely on a vastly decreasing supply of water from the mountains. Fortunately there are alternatives to the lawn and they are surprisingly easy. For millennia, plants had evolved on the lands we inhabit without the benefit of humans, cutting, irrigating, or showering them with fertilizers and pesticides. So it is with little effort that they can once again establish themselves near our homes, with relatively little effort.

This weekend you will be able to see native gardens all around the area - many of them here in Willow Glen - which use very little more than rainwater to thrive. You may find yourself surprised to see the variety of plants and how beautiful they can be. When you realize that they can look so good with so little effort, you may also find yourself tempted to try it on your own. The Going Native Garden Tour will be in our area this Sunday. It is self-guided and free. When you register you will receive a brief description of the sites and a map of their locations. Then you are free to decide which sites interest you the most, and which you will have the time to see - there are a lot! When you get there you will find all of the native plants neatly labeled. The homeowners are there and happy to show you what they've done and share their thoughts and experiences.

Beautiful landscape? Low maintenance? Low cost? Low water needs? More hummingbirds and butterflies? Check, check, check, check, and check.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Submit Questions for Thursday Evening's Mayoral Candidates Forum

What questions would you like asked of the candidates? You have three ways to try to get your questions answered, 1) approach a candidate at the meet and greet from 6-7:00 pm, 2) fill out this online form (by Thursday morning at the latest), or 3) fill out one of the 3x5 question cards at the event from 6-8:00 pm. Organizers will do their best to coordinate the questions you want answered.

The event will be at the Starlight Banquet Hall, 680 Minnesota Avenue - just a 15 minute walk from most of North Willow Glen. Festivities start at 6:00 pm when you can mingle with candidates and neighbors for some one-on-one discussion. At 7:00 pm moderator Damian Trujillo will begin the Candidates Forum.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

2014 Mayoral Candidates Forum

NWGNA is pleased to co-sponsor of the 2014 Mayoral Candidates Forum from on April 24th at Starlite Banquet, 680 Minnesota. Guests will be Supervisor Dave Cortese and City Councilmembers Rose Herrera, Sam Liccardo, Madison Nguyen, and Pierluigi Oliverio. You are welcome to speak directly with the candidates from 6-7:00 pm. Damian Trujillo will moderate the forum, from 7-9:00 pm.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Master Gardeners Spring Market - Saturday

The Master Gardeners of Santa Clara County invite you to the 20th Annual Spring Garden Market, Saturday, April 12, 9 am-2 pm, at beautiful History San Jose, 1650 Senter Rd., San Jose.

The group will be selling a huge variety of tomato, pepper, herb, and flower seedlings that theyraise right here in Santa Clara Valley. They will also host gardening talks and a Green Elephant Sale.
Also, Main Street will be lined with a vendor fair including 40+ booths ranging from plant nurseries, gardening societies, urban farmers, beekeepers and conservation groups to vendors of containers and raised beds, apparel, mosaics and even chicken coops.

More information is available from the Master Gardeners

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Running Out of Dog Waste Bags

Thanks so much to those of you who have already donated! We're down to our last month or so of dog waste bags, and we still need donations before another order can be placed. We buy in bulk to get our best price, and we're about half way to our fundraising goal for that amount. Please remind your neighbors, or talk up the drive to both fellow dog walkers and others who enjoy our parks. Once the bags run out we know from history that the dog-poop piles, well they start piling up. That's unpleasant for everyone, and especially unsanitary for the kids. 

Donations of any amount are welcome. $25 pays for about three months at one dog station of which we have four throughout the neighborhood. 

You can donate via Paypal by clicking the "Donate" button to the upper left. To ensure the donation goes to the dog bag fund, please e-mail us so we know which account to place it in. We will also happily accept checks made out to North Willow Glen Neighborhood Association. Please e-mail Alison for the address.