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.
Olivenhain Municipal Water District’s Board of Directors recognized the winners of the 2019 North County Water Agencies Water Awareness Poster Contest at its May 22 meeting.
Fourth-grade students living or attending school within OMWD’s service area were invited to enter the contest earlier this year. The top three posters all hailed from Mrs. Goyette’s class at Flora Vista Elementary in Encinitas.
Sayla Egger’s first-place poster features a superhero pup and encourages people to conserve water by recycling it.
Addison Bowe, the second-place winner, designed a poster that highlights the connection between water conservation and pollution prevention.
The poster that received third-place honors was created by Delaney Owens and portrays a side-by-side comparison of a world with water and a world without.
Contest encourages students to think about the importance of using water wisely
“We are fortunate to have such talented young artists in our area,” stated OMWD Board President Ed Sprague. “The annual poster contest is a great way for them to show off their talent and gets students thinking about the importance of using water wisely.”
The annual poster contest asks fourth-grade students to use their imaginations to create images that raise awareness on water-related issues. This year’s theme was “Be Water Smart.” The competition has occurred on a yearly basis for 26 years, and is an opportunity to teach students that everyone can take actions to use water efficiently, regardless of age.
Each winner received a prize along with a certificate of honor. North County water agencies will feature the winners’ artwork in their 2020 Water Awareness Calendar which will be available for free from OMWD later this year. The images will also be displayed in OMWD outreach material and on district vehicles.
Encinitas, Calif. — At its May 22 meeting, Olivenhain Municipal Water District’s Board of Directors accepted for its 2018-2019 fiscal year budget the Government Finance Officers Association’s Distinguished Budget Presentation Award. This marks the eighteenth consecutive year OMWD has achieved this award.
Encinitas, Calif.—American Public Works Association’s San Diego and Imperial Counties Chapter has recognized Olivenhain Municipal Water District’s Avenida La Posta Recycled Water Project as “Project of the Year.” The award, celebrating OMWD’s engineering and project management efforts, was presented yesterday at a reception at Paradise Point Resort in San Diego.
Encinitas, Calif. — Olivenhain Municipal Water District’s 4S Ranch Water Reclamation Facility was recognized today by California Water Environment Association as its 2019 Plant of the Year (Small). The award was presented during CWEA’s Annual Conference in Palm Springs and acknowledges OMWD’s efforts to increase water supply reliability by reducing imported water demand.
Encinitas, CA—The WaterReuse Association of California today recognized Olivenhain Municipal Water District as its 2019 Agency of the Year (Medium). The award was presented this morning at WateReuse’s annual conference in Garden Grove.