The project has evolved from an ambitious effort to implement drought tolerant landscaping at municipal property within the City of Claremont, to the creation of a plan of action. This plan of action came out of a series of meetings with members from sustainable Claremont, CHERP, and Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden. These meetings helped the members of the group, realized that we had to think of the project in smaller steps, and that first step was to move to develop a plan for the Garner House. This property was chosen for its convenience and the “advertising” high profile that the location has on Indian Hill. The location is also the offices for Claremont Heritage, which is the historic preservation committee of the City of Claremont.
In order to get some confirmation from the community, we began advertising our project at the Earth day Festival. There was interest from people who lived in the city. Though the real support for the project came from the signatures we gathered from the Farmers Market. There were people who thought that replacing sod with California native foliage was a fantastic idea. However there were people who were upset that students who had a great idea, had to go out and get permission and support from the community. I am not entirely sure that this progressive attitude is shared by the city as a whole, but the city of Claremont is a center that is concerned about the environment. The process of getting approval from the community is important for the democratic process in which our system is built on. Our plan of action is one that is a positive change, though it requires more organization.
Our project outline is similar to that of a city’s general plan. There are different elements which focus on site selection, maps, plant types, goals, and objects. The group is meeting with Claremont Heritage, Claremont Parks, and two landscape architects that are volunteering time. Meetings have been scheduled to discuss goals and objectives of the demonstration garden design and plant selection. These meetings will help us understand the constraints of the site and the environment. This selection process will then further our project with basic criteria and will help bring the vision of the plan to fruition. There will be more to come in the following weeks, as we ready to prepare a final draft of our project for Claremont Heritage.