SP Beautiful: Help spruce up public spaces Saturday,
or fix own landscapes

October 29, 2014
Santa Paula News

America in Bloom is hoping Santa Paulans will continue the momentum of cleaning up the city with a special event Saturday at four key areas... but residents are also encouraged to do some beautification of their own. 

The November 1 Santa Paula Beautiful will be held 9 a.m. to noon with volunteers meeting at the Gazebo (Mill Street at East Santa Barbara Street). 

“We’ve got a few projects lined up,” said Dianne Davis, co-founder of America in Bloom, which is sponsoring the Santa Paula Beautification Day.

Volunteers will work at the First Christian Church (corner of Railroad Avenue and 9th Street), SPARC (the Santa Paula Animal Rescue Center is located at the corner of West Santa Barbara and 7th streets), the Bike Path (which starts at 12th Street and ends at Peck Road) and at the Peck Road/Highway 126 area.

Volunteers are asked to bring gloves, rakes, pruning shears and trash bags. Wear a hat and sunscreen. 

“The First Christian Church was just painted,” and Davis, who will oversee the effort, said AIB was asked to help with its landscaping needs. 

Built in 1900, the Carpenter Gothic-style church, a rare one of its kind, is Ventura County Historical Landmark #81; the church was featured in the “True Blood” cable television series, appearances that funded the new paint for the structure.

“Mike Coleman will be directing the clean up at SPARC, we’re not doing any planting,” but rather said Davis, sprucing up at Ventura County’s first no-kill animal shelter.

“Alex Flores and the Future Farmers of America are working on the area around Peck Road and the highway,” primarily cleanup.

Davis said Gary Nasalroad will be in charge of the Bike Trail: “He organized the different service clubs,” and others that adopted portions of the path for regular maintenance but is welcoming all volunteers to help at what has become one of the city’s favorite attractions.

When the helpers are finished at noon they will meet back at the Gazebo where they will be treated to a pizza lunch.

Davis said she is hoping those that can’t volunteer will still take the Santa Paula Beautification to heart: “We hope people find projects to do on their own, whether at their home or neighborhoods, and collectively clean up the town. 

“During the America in Bloom contest we saw people sprucing up their property,” following the example of the community and their neighborhoods.

Now, Davis has a suggestion: “Due to the drought we have to get to work on ‘zeroscape’, using rocks, mulch and succulents,” that can replace water hungry grass and plants on the whole property or just portions.

The city, mandated by the state to reduce its draw from aquifers by 20 percent, has been thinning landscaping at local parks and at the Bike Trail.

“People could take some time Saturday,” to spruce up their front yards and perhaps consider what they will do in the back to save water and help the environment.

“That’s what we have to get to work on,” said Davis.

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