Encinitas, Calif. —The Special District Leadership Foundation recognized Olivenhain Municipal Water District today at California Special Districts Association’s annual conference in Anaheim for a sixth “District of Distinction” biennial accreditation. This recognition celebrates OMWD’s sound fiscal management and commitment to transparency in all areas of its operations.
Encinitas, Calif. — Olivenhain Municipal Water District turned on the tap to start providing recycled water to Surf Cup Sports, LLC. By irrigating approximately 55 acres of grass sports fields with recycled water, OMWD and Surf Cup Sports will save up to an estimated 100 million gallons of potable water per year, reducing potable water demand and improving sustainability.
Encinitas, Calif. —Olivenhain Municipal Water District is offering a Basics of Backyard Composting and Vermicomposting workshop to the general public to promote water use efficiency. OMWD will hold the free workshop on Tuesday, October 8 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve’s Interpretive Center Honoring Susan. J. Varty.
Encinitas, Calif.—Residents and business owners are invited to attend a public meeting on September 17 to learn about two important projects taking place along the North El Camino Real Corridor in the coming months.
Encinitas, Calif. — Olivenhain Municipal Water District has teamed up with I Love a Clean San Diego for California Coastal Cleanup Day 2019 to protect habitat at Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve. Volunteers are invited to assist OMWD rangers in removing trash and debris from Escondido Creek on September 21 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Encinitas, Calif.— At its July 24 board meeting, OMWD’s board of directors authorized the refinancing of its Reassessment District 96-1 bonds. The deal closed on July 29 and will reduce repayment costs to property owners within OMWD by approximately $2.8 million.
Encinitas, Caif. – On July 26, Olivenhain Municipal Water District will re-open its recycled water fill station for the warm summer season, offering free recycled water to its residential customers.
OMWD operates the facility to help customers irrigate during San Diego’s warm season, minimizing potable water demands and assisting customers with lowering their higher summer bills. The fill station, located at Campania Avenue and Camino San Thomas in 4S Ranch, will open Fridays 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Saturdays 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Carlsbad residents Melanie and Bob Buck were honored as the 2019 WaterSmart Landscape Contest winners by the Olivenhain Municipal Water District during its July 24 board meeting.
Melanie Buck worked to transform her landscape from large grassy areas and pine trees into a colorful, waterwise landscape design. The landscape now requires less than half of the water she once used. Visually stunning, the landscape also includes welcoming entertainment areas.
Since installing the award-winning landscape, the Bucks have reduced their outdoor water use. They also benefit from far less expensive maintenance costs. Their home demonstrates the beauty of water-efficient landscapes with its vibrant colors and variety of textures using Bougainvillea, striking cactus, succulents, and California native plants and shrubs.
Landscape contest watersmart design serves as inspiration to residents
“Outdoor watering comprises the majority of residential water use in the region, so landscaping efficiently is of utmost importance,” said Olivenhain MWD board president Ed Sprague. “Ms. Buck’s show-stopping landscape is a prime example of the beauty that water-efficient gardens have to offer.
“This winning design will serve as an inspiration to others in the community to consider creating their own water-efficient gardens,” added Sprague.
The WaterSmart Landscape Contest is held annually by water agencies throughout San Diego County to showcase attractive landscapes that use less water than conventional turf-heavy landscapes. Winning entries exhibit excellence in curb appeal, climate-appropriate plant selection, design, efficient irrigation, and environmental considerations.
Many residents began working on their winning projects by first attending the Water Authority’s free landscape makeover courses for expert instruction and guidance. The four-course series is held throughout in the year in various convenient locations. Pre-registration is required. For the schedule and to register, go to WaterSmartSD.org
Photos of 2019 winners from the 13 participating member agencies throughout the county. as well as previous years’ winners, are at www.landscapecontest.com.
Encinitas, Calif. — Olivenhain Municipal Water District and San Dieguito Water District have partnered to offer free WaterSmart Landscape Design Workshops. The three-hour courses will be held Wednesday, July 17 and Thursday, October 3, from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the San Diego Botanic Garden.
Residents, volunteers, and officials gathered June 1 at the Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve in Escondido to celebrate the 10th anniversary of its Interpretive Center honoring Susan J. Varty.
Located at OMWD’s Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve, the center was constructed as a centerpiece of environmental education through a cooperative effort between OMWD and the Escondido Creek Conservancy.
“As we celebrate ten years of operation, we couldn’t be more proud of what we have accomplished by working together,” said OMWD Board Secretary Robert Kephart. “Yet, without the dedicated support of docents and donors, this one-of-a-kind facility with its many successful education programs would not have been possible. We also honor their efforts today.”
The Center’s namesake, Susan J. Varty, served as an OMWD board director from 1994 until her death in 2009. She exhibited a passion and tenacity for water issues and environmental preservation.
Reserve provides regional resource for outdoor education, and environmental appreciation
The Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve provides a wealth of opportunities for recreation, outdoor education, and environmental appreciation.
Olivenhain partnered with the San Diego County Water Authority and the Bureau of Land Management to develop the 784-acre Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve as part of the regional Emergency Storage Project. The reserve opened in 1992. Currently, the reserve offers approximately 11 miles of hiking, mountain biking, and equestrian trails, as well as picnic areas and scenic mountain viewing points.
The Escondido Creek Conservancy has formed alliances with landowners, government agencies, and education and community groups to increase awareness of the invaluable resources intrinsic to the Escondido Creek watershed.
Originally, Olivenhain planned to construct a cinder block building with the assistance of a $68,500 grant from California’s Department of Parks and Recreation. The Conservancy sought at the same time to establish a location close to Escondido Creek for hosting educational programs. The timing allowed the organizations to form a mutually beneficial partnership.
The Conservancy raised over $565,000 from individual donors to complete the enhanced design and center construction. Another $200,000 was raised for educational programs, including wildlife displays and nature activities.
Renowned local artist James T. Hubbell designed the center and several original works by Hubbell and his collaborations with other artists are on display. The building also features green design elements such as recycled building materials, solar panels powered by photovoltaic cells, and a green roof.
New grant funding provides educational field trips
More than 3,650 students visited the reserve on field trips during the 2018-2019 school year. The Conservancy provides the opportunity for students in disadvantaged communities to attend field trips through grant funding. Additional education partners are the Nature Collective and San Diego Zoo.
At the event, the Conservancy announced the creation of the Escondido Creek Eichen Education Fund. The new fund will continue the joint education programs held at the center in perpetuity.
“The Escondido Creek Conservancy’s education department helps bring thousands of underserved, urban-based students from Escondido out to the Elfin Forest every year so they can experience the outdoors, many for the first time in their lives,“ said Conservancy board member Jeff Swenerton. “This is vitally important because we can’t expect the next generation to value nature if they’ve never been exposed to it.
“We’re reaching more children now than in any other time in our organization’s history,” added Swenerton. “It’s very exciting to see the impact we’re making, but we’ve reached a point where we need to launch the Escondido Creek Eichen Education Fund campaign to sustain our success and enable us to continue connecting children with nature.”
The center is open seven days a week, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., depending on the availability of the reserve’s 65 docents. View the current docent schedule on the center’s website.