City of SP putting mulch where its
water was to help ease drought

April 17, 2015
Santa Paula News

The City of Santa Paula is putting mulch where its water was as it begins aggressive efforts to adhere to new strict state guidelines.

Not that it’s a bad thing: Interim Parks and Recreation Director Ed Mount said some recent efforts and planned programs will also be attractive and provide water-saving examples to citizens.

Wednesday work began on removing bushes just west of the Depot at Railroad Plaza, an area that once cleared and compacted will be covered in mulch. 

The East Santa Barbara Street-facing foliage has been at times problematic, attracting homeless persons who carved out areas inside the brush to store their belongings and sleep. 

Although notified in the past about the issue, Mount said the deciding factor to remove the bushes was the drought, particularly the mandatory 25 percent reduction in water use issued in recent weeks by Gov. Jerry Brown.

Mount said other projects have been completed: “At the Community Center by the oak tree is all mulch now,” a move that will not only save water but also ensure what water is used will benefit the tree.

“We’ve added mulch at Veterans Memorial Park, anywhere it’s needed to conserve water,” he noted.

And coming up is a joint effort with America in Bloom: “On May 2 AIB is going to take the grass outside City Hall Council Chambers,” an area Mount estimates is 25 feet by 12 feet, “and plant succulents. They are donating the succulents,” that will line the walkway to the doors.  

The project is “The perfect size to be manageable, to take care of. We’re trying to find areas with either shrubbery not in great condition or that we can do without and replace it with a different kind of groundcover or mulch so it looks nice,” while conserving water.

In February 2014 the City Council adopted a voluntary 15 percent reduction in water use; in October 2014 they adopted a recommended state guideline of conserving 20 percent of water. Now with the governor’s mandate, already being hotly debated throughout the state, another 5 percent must be conserved.

For more information on water conservation visit

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