2014 Green School and Watershed Hero Award Winners

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In celebration of America Recycles Day, and in an ongoing effort to support local environmental efforts, on Monday, December 15, 2015, at the start of the City Council meeting, Ventura Mayor Cheryl Heitmann presented the 2014 Green School Award to Lincoln Elementary School, and the 2014 Watershed Hero Award to Loma Vista Elementary School on behalf of the City of Ventura’s Environmental Sustainability Division, Ventura Water, E.J. Harrison & Sons and Agromin Premium Soil Products.

For the past eight years, the Green School Award has been presented to a deserving Ventura school that has demonstrated exemplary efforts in helping to preserve the sustainability of our environment. This year, Lincoln Elementary School was chosen for their active recycling efforts, which include a thriving CRV/Beverage Recycling Collection program that raises funds for their school, and for their Food Waste Composting and Recycling Program that helps to keep waste and trash out of the landfill. Other eco-friendly programs at Lincoln include a garden food-producing program providing produce for the students to take home and continuing student /faculty environmental education efforts.

For the second year in a row, The Watershed Hero Award was presented to Loma Vista Elementary for converting their school front entryway into a water wise Ocean Friendly Garden complete with a roof rainwater capture system, bioswales and drought tolerant plants.

“Both Lincoln Elementary and Loma Vista Elementary show commitment to our city, community and school district by continuing to preserve and enhance Ventura’s beautiful and natural environment,” said Mayor Heitmann. “We’re extremely grateful to our award sponsors, E.J. Harrison & Sons and Agromin Premium Soil Products as well as Ventura Water for supplying the schools with cash prizes and the beautifully crafted glass awards.”


Sustainable Ventura News From the “Water: Take 1″ Leading By Example Reception


Watch the Sustainable Ventura News segment from the November 20, 2014 “Water: Take 1″ Leading By Example Reception at the Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach.

Leading by example, the City of Ventura, as well as many local businesses, support and encourage our community’s sustainability through their environmental initiatives and sustainable practices. On November 20th, at a special cocktail reception at the Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach, Ventura Water is hosted a presentation highlighting local organizations and companies that have implemented sustainable water practices and policies, upgraded their private and public spaces with a focus on water conservation and otherwise demonstrated not only an acute awareness of the challenges facing our water supply but have taken bold steps toward finding a solution.

Visit:  WaterTake1.com , Ventura Water.org and VenturaWater.net

Schools, Businesses, Residents, and the City All “Lead by Example” in Ventura’s Effort to Conserve Water

LtoR: Ventura Water GM Shana Epstein, Ventura City Fire Chief David Endaya, Ventura Mayor Cheryl Heitmann

Ventura Water celebrated the community’s ongoing successful efforts to conserve water at its “Water: Take 1 Leading by Example” reception held on Nov. 20 at the Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach Hotel. About 125 community members watched a series of video presentations about the actions taken by Ventura’s fire and parks departments as well as by local schools, businesses and residents to conserve during California’s historic three-year drought.

Ventura City Fire Chief David Endaya said the department is taking measures to conserve, including reducing the amount of water used during training exercises as well as using dusters to clean off fire trucks instead of washing them. In addition, he noted, members of Firehouse No. 3 recently removed the front lawn and replaced it with drought-tolerant plants.
Elena Brokaw, director of the Ventura City Parks Department, said only playing fields are still being watered – for safety purposes. Non-playing fields are no longer being watered. “Brown is the new green,” she said. She also noted that it is fortunate that both City golf courses and the Marina Park area are watered with reclaimed water, which is why those landscapes are still green.

The Ventura Unified School District is actively involved in water conservation, board President Mary Haffner said following a video focusing on the ocean-friendly bioswale gardens recently installed on the Will Rogers and Loma Vista elementary school grounds. With their sloped sides and depressed areas filled by rocks, native vegetation, mulch and organic compost, the bioswales retain storm water and trap pollutants that otherwise would travel to the ocean. Students learn about water conservation, Haffner said, by having a living laboratory on their campuses.

Three local businesses – Lewis Engineering, Rincon Consultants and Westside Boards – were recognized for their energy and water conservation efforts. All have earned Green Business certification from the City of Ventura’s Environmental Sustainability Division.

Steve Svete, vice president of Rincon Consultants, said the company has reduced its water consumption by 80 percent in recent years by replacing its 1950s kitchen and bathroom fixtures and by encouraging its 40 employees to save water.

Adam West, owner of Westside Boards, described the lengths he goes to create eco-friendly body boards, alternative surf craft and surf-inspired furniture. “We’re a little cog in all this, but we try to lead by example,” West said, adding, “I haven’t washed my car since June.”

Ed Wehan, a member of the Ventura Parks & Recreation Commission, shared his experience of replacing his lawn with drought-tolerant landscaping. “Every plant has its own personality,” Wehan said, adding that he enjoys watching the sparrows, hummingbirds and Monarch butterflies drawn to his native plants.

Ventura Water General Manager Shana Epstein ended the evening by encouraging everyone to vote for one of the 50 films focusing on water currently entered in Ventura Water’s 2014 Water: Take 1 online short film contest at www.watertake1.com.

From Ventura Water’s Pipeline, December 2014

Get Ready for the Rain – Save Water with a Rain Barrel


A rain barrel discount program for City of Ventura residents is now available through Environmental Sustainability and Ventura Water, while supplies last.

Working in cooperation with Smith Pipe and Supply at 3060 Sherwin Avenue in Ventura, the Channel/Bushman 60-gallon rain barrel with a retail value of $85 will be available for $42 plus tax at their store with a Rain Barrel Discount Voucher.

Along with the voucher, proof of Ventura residency such as a Ventura Water bill or other utility bill or document that shows a City of Ventura address (not a driver’s license) must be shown to receive the discount.  Two rain barrel discounts are available per residential address with the voucher.

Additional rain barrels may be purchased at the full retail price. The rain barrel is for non-potable water use only. Vouchers are available through Environmental Sustainability by calling 652-4584 or printed directly from the website. This program is subject to supply and funding availability.

Leading By Example: The Ventura City Fire Department

In this segment of Sustainable Ventura News, the Ventura City Fire Department talks about their sustainable operating practices.

Watch Sustainable Ventura News at Ventura County Star online (SEARCH “Sustainable Ventura News) also WATCH on the NEWS and LIFESTYLE pages and in the VC STYLE COLUMN.

Sustainable Ventura TV News is reported by Maryann Ridini Spencer and airs on Caps-TV VTV’s Channel 15, Thursdays at 8:30pm. It rebroadcasts Monday-Thursday and Saturdays at 9:00am, Sundays at 8:30pm and every other Wednesday at 8:30pm.

Visit: http://VenturaWater.org, http://CityofVentura.net/water/landscape and http://SustainableVentura.TV


FREE “Water: Take 1″ Reception Tonight at Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach, 6:00pm



November 20, 2014

6:00-8:00 pm

at Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach Hotel

450 E Harbor Boulevard

Join us for a sneak peek party for entries in Water Take 1,

Ventura’s online short film contest about all things water!

The Reception is FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC with RSVP


You’re Invited: WATER CONSERVATION SUMMIT, Saturday, October 25, 10am – 2pm


You are cordially invited to attend the

FREE Water Conservation Summit

Saturday, October 25 

10am-2pm at Ventura City Hall.

Get the facts and helpful information, panels and demonstrations: http://bit.ly/ZDb4Xv

California is experiencing one of the worst droughts in its history.  Although all Californians have been asked to reduce water consumption by 20%, more must be done.

Please join California State Assemblymember Das Williams, the City of Ventura, Ventura Water and the Ventura Chamber of Commerce for a Water Conservation Summit focused on how we can work together to save our water.

FREE Water Surveys Offered to Residential Customers


Ventura Water is helping residential customers find ways to save water by offering free on-site water surveys. The Residential Water Survey program is a free service to help single-family customers save water inside and outside the home. The survey, generally about one hour long and conducted by a Water Conservation Specialist, includes:

  • A review of your water bill
  • Instructions on how to read your water meter
  • An indoor survey of toilets, showers and faucets for leaks
  • An outdoor survey of grass type and identifying irrigation system leaks
  • Free water-saving devices like low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators
  • Water-saving advice based on your home results

Customers will receive a summary checklist at the end of the survey. To schedule a survey, contact Customer Care at (805) 667-6500 or myvtawater@cityofventura.net.

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From Ventura Water’s Pipeline, October 2014 Issue