Sherry Lee Bryan and Laura Hebert will lead this workshop on a program flourishing in Santa Barbara and Monterey Counties. The Green Gardener Program is a bilingual (English and Spanish) curriculum educating local gardeners. “The reason for this program,” Hebert said, “is to reduce waste- (ie: green waste) and pollution (from pesticides, fertilizers, and fossil fuel powered equipment), to conserve natural resources (water), and produce healthy urban areas.” The program includes class time, fieldwork, and results in a certification card. As the population is increasing and resources are limited, we must all garden responsibly. Having the knowledge to shift gardening practices to sustainable ones, becomes an increasingly important skill.
“The program is designed for landscapers, maintenance gardeners, and anyone interested in ways to care for their landscape in a more ecologically sound manner,” Hebert explained. Program topics include resource efficiency, pollution prevention in landscaping, low maintenance landscapes, green waste reduction, watershed health, and fertilizer management. Santa Barbara and Monterey Counties have certified over 200 gardeners in the program.
Bryan is the coordinator and lead instructor of Monterey Bay Green Gardener Certification Program and co-chair of the Central Coast Graywater Alliance. Hebert is a technician with the SLO Agriculture Department. While pursuing her Master’s at Cal Poly she is also in the process of establishing a Green Gardener Program here in SLO. Working with Cuesta College, Hebert hopes to get the program on its feet by Spring 2012.