What’s in your front yard?

December 4, 2009

Well, I suppose not many of us actually have luxury of affording a front yard — or any green space in that matter.  But how about your school or workplace?  Do they have some green space to make their front office look pretty?

A group of students I work with is organizing a project to bring California native plants to their campus.  With the support of their student union landscape team, as well as the campus physical planning team, soon they are going to plant some native plants around the campus. 

The name, “native plant” seems straight forward enough to assume what that is.  Native plants are basically plants that grow naturally in the area.  They are there, not because they look pretty, but because they can grow there.  But that does not necessary mean that they all are ugly-looking plants.  Although, I must admit that some plants look rather boring — but, there are many good-looking plants that are native to Southern California, actually.

So why do we want native plants, you might ask.  It is quite simple — native plants are rather carefree.  Afterall, they naturally grow in your area, so native plants do not need much attention from you to maintain — perhaps, occasional trimming.  The biggest benefit of having native plants is probably amount of water usage to maintain the plants.  Native plants, because they are naturally habitat in this dry Southern California weather, are already adopted to survive with smaller amount of water.  Which is a good news to Southern California, as we continue to struggle with drought.

So maybe, you can bring those native plants to your school or workplace — not to destroy the ones you already have, but when it is time to bring new plants, that is.

For more information about Southern California’s native plants, local NPR station has a story this morning.

Hironao Okahana is a graduate student in higher education policy and finance.  He also serves as a staff adviser for student advocacy programs at a college student government association.

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