Laguna Beach, CA – At the June 12 regular meeting of the Laguna Beach City Council, Saddleback College Horticulture Professor Robert Farnsworth and his team of students presented design concept plans for a water-wise demonstration garden/pocket park. The pocket park, which includes a fog/dew catchment device to capture, store, and irrigate water to the surrounding plants, will be located at the southern portion of the turf area at the Treasure Island Park property that is owned and managed by the Montage Resort.
“This team of talented students and faculty have collaborated with the City to design a groundbreaking water-wise pocket park and garden,” said Shohreh Dupuis, Assistant City Manager and Director of Public Works. “This park will serve as a model for both community and regional water conservation practices.”
Funding for the park was awarded to the City by the Municipal Water District of Orange County (MWDOC) and the Wyland Foundation for the City’s outstanding work in water conservation and for gathering the most pledges to use water more efficiently from its residents, schools and businesses.
Design for the park was a thought partnership between students and faculty at Saddleback College, City staff, MWDOC, the Wyland Foundation and the Laguna Beach County Water District. Conceptual plans for the park show it will be an educational tool for water efficient landscaping, and include plants, irrigation equipment, lighting, signage and scannable smart-phone information on water conservation.
“More than just the purpose of mere water usage and frequent maintenance, it’s a place that should enhance the already beautiful scenery and a place to educate,” Saddleback College student Angela Abbott told the City Council of the proposed park. “It makes sense for Laguna’s nature to really create something here that has never been done at this level before.”
In 2017 under Mayor Toni Iseman’s leadership, the City of Laguna Beach was recognized as a “Water-wise City” as part of the 2017 Wyland National Mayor’s Challenge for its effort related to water conservation. Residents from more than 4,800 cities across the United States took part in the 2017 Challenge by pledging to save over 2.2 billion gallons of water.
“This pocket park project is an award to the City,” said Tiffany Baca, Public Affairs Supervisor for the Municipal Water District of Orange County. “This is something your citizens did consciously to get a pocket park for the City that promotes water conservation.”
The project is fully funded by the grant and will be implemented at no cost to the City. It will be maintained by the Montage Resort. Montage Resort management told the City Council they are agreeable to the location and looking forward to building a successful water-wise garden at the site. As a next step, detailed design plans for the park will now be submitted to the Design Review Board for approval.