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February 2010

Las Virgenes Municipal Water District Publishes Colorful “California Friendly” Plant Catalog

By Jeff Reinhardt, Public Affairs & Communications Manager, Las Virgenes Municipal Water District

Eastern Municipal Water District

For the past year, Las Virgenes Municipal Water District has taken a “total awareness approach” as it seeks to increase customer awareness about the need to conserve water.

This community outreach effort is multifaceted. It includes weekly newspaper ads, on-screen conservation advertising in local theaters, a revised district web site, newspaper op-ed articles and a newsletter included with billing statements. There are also special meetings in the area’s sub-communities, quarterly facility tours containing a strong conservation message and a district presence at community events such as art fairs and landscaping classes for the public and landscaping professionals. In addition, there is the large Water Conservation and Landscape Fair at district headquarters, with vendors, speakers and drawings for donated prizes.

A centerpiece of the district’s conservation outreach is the new “California Friendly Guide to Native and Drought Tolerant Gardens,” a 64-page catalog of plants, trees, shrubs and ground covers, divided into several sub categories based upon special plant characteristics. Some of the groupings include fragrant varieties, lawn replacements, fire resistant selections, blossoming plants and more.

The catalog project was done entirely in-house. Plant information and photos were compiled by LVMWD Public Affairs Associate (and plant expert) Deborah Low and designed by Deborah Peters, the district’s Communications & Media Coordinator. Together they created the catalog which has been produced in both high-quality printed and web-published versions, the latter of which can also be read online in a page-turning “flip book” format, at www.LVMWD.com.

“Las Virgenes is entirely dependent upon the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California for its water supply; we have no local potable sources,” said John R. Mundy, LVMWD’s General Manager. “We know that during the summer months, more than 70 percent of the water we deliver is being used outdoors. That fact made landscape modification a significant objective in helping our customers reduce the amount of water used for irrigation.”

The online and printed versions have already proven to be popular with landscape classes, professional gardeners, landscape architects, garden clubs, plant nurseries, and home gardeners.

LVMWD serves 65,000 persons in the cities of Agoura Hills, Calabasas, Hidden Hills and Westlake Village and the adjacent unincorporated portions of western Los Angeles County.

This newsletter is produced by the:
Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
700 N. Alameda St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012