A project under way at Imperial Beach City Hall is a leading example of how to create a landscape that requires little to no supplemental irrigation. The method, called xeriscaping, uses drought-tolerant native plants and proper bed design to take advantage of rainfall and minimize the use of irrigation. The project was designed by Parterre Landscape Architecture and the site preparation was done by the city’s Public Works Department employees. The landscape planting, irrigation installation and rock and decomposed granite mulch application is being done by Boy Scouts of America Eagle Scout candidates as their community service Eagle Project.
This project will be done in five phases, the first two of which have been completed. Work on the two completed phases was led by Austin Allen and Chris Madaffer, Eagle Scouts with troop 53. In order to receive an Eagle Scout award, boys must plan and complete a community service project that leaves a lasting improvement on their community. Allen chose to undertake the landscaping/water conservation project at City Hall to not only reduce water consumption, but also to improve the street appeal of the civic complex.
While the city of Imperial Beach currently is not mandating water conservation, a drought alert issued by the San Diego County Water Authority is requiring citizens and businesses in other parts of the county to conserve.
“It seems like Southern California is in a perpetual state of drought,” said Allen, who has been a Boy Scout for seven years. “Leading by example and showing how easy and beautiful it is to create a water-sensitive landscape will hopefully inspire others to do the same.”