The San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District (SBVMWD/Valley District) is a wholesale water agency headquartered in the City of San Bernardino and covering a 353 square mile service area which includes more than 660,000 residents. As part of their mission, Valley District has partnered with the IERCD for the last ten years to fund a variety of outreach programming to its residents focused on the critical need for water conservation. Services performed by IERCD under this partnership include performance of classroom presentations for students in Kindergarten – 12th grades, presentations to adult community service groups, and installations of climate-appropriate demonstration gardens on the campuses of schools and community centers, reaching over 4,000 residents on an annual basis with Valley District’s message of water conservation.
In the 2015-16 academic year, the SBVMWD-IERCD partnership grew to include programs facilitated by the IERCD at the one acre demonstration garden primarily funded by Valley District on the campus of California State University, San Bernardino. This series of programs is performed on Saturdays and features speakers addressing attendees on rotating topics which have included everything from use of water conservation hardscape to the benefits of native and climate-appropriate landscaping. Attendees tour the garden following the presentation, in addition to taking home resource materials and plant giveaways, and participating in raffles for residential rain barrels. Partners on these workshops include SBVMWD in addition to the City of San Bernardino’s Municipal Water Department and the CSUSB campus-based Water Resources Institute.
The most recent CSUSB garden workshop focused on Tree Care During Drought, and featured City of Colton Water Conservation Specialist and Arborist Robert Waner as the presenter. Mr. Waner spoke to attendees on the critical importance of proper pruning, and used tools to freshly cut branches to demonstrate correct technique. He also brought pieces of rotted roots and fungal conks to provide the guests with a hands-on example of issues that can negatively affect tree health. Following his presentation, each guest was given the opportunity to personally ask a question and get a response from the experienced Arborist. Ultimately, the participants walked away with information and resources to be able to properly care for their trees during drought and to know when to contact a Certified Arborist for an expert opinion.
All workshops are free and open to the public, and do not require residency within the service areas of the SBVMWD or IERCD to attend. The next workshop will be an Incentives Fair, held Saturday, April 29th from 9am-12pm, and featuring booths manned by retail water agencies partnered with SBVMWD. Attendees are encouraged to come to the event to learn more about water conservation incentive programs operated by individual retailers, and to learn more about the importance of water conservation in the arid Inland Empire. Please RSVP to Gaby Preciado at email@example.com or to IERCD’s general line at 909-799-7407.