A Plan to Save Water and A Partnership to Make It Happen
Posted by: Alex Nathanson on September 15, 2016
Community Lutheran Church and Saddleback Children’s Center in Rancho Santa Margarita, CA, was struggling with an outdated and inefficient 30-year-old landscaping and irrigation system. Annual water usage was averaging 1.2 million gallons per year, water bills were climbing, and overspray and runoff were regularly damaging the parking lot and walkways throughout the property. The recent and severe drought affecting all of California made the situation even worse. Faced with emergency watering restrictions, the church turned to the local water district for help. A free site survey identified a number of problems, but the church had limited resources and needed help to get the job done.
Rain Bird Corporation saw an opportunity to transform the property into a model of water-efficiency and sustainable landscaping. Together with the church, we pulled together a coalition of partners and volunteers to make this project possible. Along with donations of sprinkler products, a professional landscape plan and beautiful native plants and sod, the heavy equipment provided by http://compactpowerrents.com played a critical role in this renovation.
Our contractor, George Alonzo with Advanced Patio & Landscape, had a small but experienced crew who took full advantage of the Kubota tractor loader backhoe provided by Compact Power. From the first day on the project removing old shrubs and digging up difficult roots and stumps, the “Orange Beast” (as we called it) rapidly became a valuable member of the team. While the backhoe made quick work digging deep holes for new trees in the rocky, clay soil, it also ensured the heavy 24-inch Parkinsonia “Desert Museum” Palo Verde trees were easily moved into place. Can you imagine trying to lift that weight on your own?
Allowing us to transport old dirt and debris from the worksite with the bucket loader, Compact Power’s heavy equipment cut down on the time spent on these tasks to make the project more efficient. Kids at the preschool hung on the playground fence, watching with fascination as we graded and leveled the back garden areas and prepared them for new sod and a gravel pathway. We even used the bucket loader to bring mountains of mulch to volunteers throughout the site. This part of the project alone would have taken many more hours if we’d just had wheelbarrows and shovels.
We were fortunate to have an experienced backhoe operator as part of George’s crew, but the equipment was so easy to drive and operate that a bunch of us took turns using it on various jobs around the site. We all agreed the Orange Beast was a true force multiplier; saving countless labor hours and helping us meet the demands of this renovation in time to qualify for a valuable rebate from the water district.
When the project began, the worksite was in need of help to bring out its fullest potential. With the help of partners like Compact Power Equipment Rental, the new landscape not only looks great but is projected to save the church and preschool more than 500,000 gallons of water annually. The water district and other project partners are also planning to use the site for education and demonstrations in the months ahead, showing others in the community how to improve their own landscapes, save countless gallons of water and manage our precious natural resources wisely.
Thanks to Compact Power Equipment Rental for being a valuable partner on this project. See more about the project here.