Category

Community Support

IRWM Family – Erma Williams

By | Community Support, Completed Projects

         

 

 Gardening: A Family Affair

As Erma William’s children were growing up, she realized that she had to provide something for them to do, “to keep them out of trouble, and away from the gangs”. What she found, and passed down to them, was her own love of gardening. Eventually her children and grandchildren grew to love garden and landscape work, as well. Her adult son does landscape work at the Stadium, and still helps his Mom on a regular basis in her garden at home. Her daughter, a law student at Berkeley, works in the garden of her housing community, while working on her law degree.

A recently married grandson does landscape work to help pay his way through Seminary. Another grandson, (Jr. High school student) proudly shows the sun flower seeds that he planted in the garden, that are now almost as tall as he is. A granddaughter planted squash. The plants are starting to come up as well.

Erma tells everyone who stops by how much she loves her garden! The installation of water conservation systems, (greywater and rain barrel) allow her to use rain water, and reuse water from the laundry, to easily grow her beautiful roses, and delicious collard greens, tomatoes and herbs.

Erma Received:

Greywater System, Rain Barrel, Yard Landscape, Low-flush Toilet, Low -flow Showerhead

Increase Clean Energy:  Solar, Upgraded Windows

Grid Alternatives: Solar

 

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Play Structure Dedication Ceremony

By | Community Support, Farm

When the EarthLab Climate Education Center was established years ago, we envisioned a place that would grow alongside the growth of our community. This dream is alive today, as we work on revamping the EarthLab to welcome more programming and opportunities for the future of climate action. To this end, the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. – Epsilon Xi Omega Chapter San Diego made their mark at the beginning of the month.


On May 5th, we were blessed to have a dedication ceremony for the new butterfly play-structure that the AKA Sorority so generously donated to the EarthLab. Speakers from AKA, Groundwork, the Office of Juan Vargas, and more, shared their kind words to honor the work we’ve all been doing towards climate justice and education in the Chollas Creek Watershed region and beyond.

We had a wonderful time being inspired by these amazing women, and the dedication ceremony was concluded by releasing butterflies into the EarthLab, where there are sure to find joy among the colorful flowers in our Native Plant Garden. We were all so excited to christen the butterfly play structure with the butterfly release, and at the end of it all I think everyone present felt hope and determination towards the mission of expanding the climate education and career opportunities for the local youth. Thank you Alpha Kappa Alpha for your incredible donation and strong energy! Generations of EarthLab students will be able to enjoy your gift to our community. Enjoy the photos below.

 

Earth Day at the EarthLab

By | Community Support

 

This past Earth Day, we celebrated our local environment by taking care of it. Over 200 volunteers came to the EarthLab Climate Education Center to answered the call of Earth Day, which happened to coincide with I Love a Clean San Diego’s Creek to Bay Cleanup day. San Diego proved on this day that we care deeply about the natural beauty that glues our city together.

Hundreds of community heroes and NASSCO volunteers joined together to complete a host of tasks necessary to the upkeep of this beautiful outdoor space. Volunteers pulled weeds, cleaned trash out of the creek, added mulch, revegetated sensitive areas, and planted seeds that will grow to match the love of our community members. From toddlers to elders, we came together to enjoy the conservation efforts and to learn how to take care of our watershed through activities led by our university student educators from SDSU and UCSD. People of all abilities had the opportunity to contribute and take part of the events.



JoAnna Proctor, our Education Director, was ecstatic to see the amount of children who came from Millennial Tech Middle School’s Solar Sprint Club, Saturday School, and the EarthLab Ambassadors. Alongside them were younger children from the Earthlab Saturday Science Club. Add to this the NASSCO families and community families, and we have upwards of 60 youth taking part in earth-friendly activities in the “Kid Zone”. This included planting succulent gardens, playing nature made instruments, creating leaf art and flower wreaths, face painting, and a nature play area. To have whole families coming together to share the experience of caring for our planet shows that the future of climate action is bright, and that generations of climate justice leaders are being inspired by our EarthLab Climate Education Center.

We would like to thank our wonderful volunteers, from the community and from NASSCO, their families, I Love A Clean San Diego, UCSD, SDSU, and Millennial Tech Middle for their dedication to the mission of climate action in our Chollas Creek watershed community.

The Chollas Creek Watershed Student Ambassadors Take Action!

By | Community Support, Farm

 

Thanks to the generous support from SDG&E’s Environmental Champions program, Groundwork partnered with students from two Lincoln Cluster schools (Chollas Mead and Millennial Tech Middle School) to engage over four hundred students in climate action awareness and education. Students learned the causes of, and developed solutions to, climate change.  They used their own watershed, the Chollas Creek Watershed, to understand the potential threats of climate change to their neighborhoods and to the larger San Diego region.  Field trips to the Birch Aquarium and Torrey Pines State Park provided students with information about the science of climate change, and a regional perspective on how family activities upstream in the watershed affect San Diego Bay and the Pacific Ocean.

As part of their climate action campaign, students developed presentations to families and community leaders on the value of drought-tolerant landscaping and healthy habitats to healthy planet, and completed home audits to give families a chance to make a difference.

Millennial Tech Middle School students thank SDG&E.

 

Energy and Water Conservation Rebates

By | Community Support

 

If you are a resident of San Diego, there are all sorts of rebates out there that can help you save money on your bills, and also help you conserve water and energy. Through our EcoVillage program, we offered upgrades like Rainwater Harvesting Barrels, and Laundry-to-landscape systems free of charge for residents within our project area, but you can still access these technologies and much more at discounted prices by taking advantage of the rebates and savings offered by the City of San Diego, SDG&E, SoCal WaterSmart, and the Center for Sustainable Energy.

In these articles we’ll run you through the rebates and discounts you can get, and some information regarding each one.

The first set of rebates we’ll get into are for products that you can install in your home that can cut down on your water usage, saving you some money on your bill and contributing to conserving water in our drought-prone region.

 

High Efficiency Toilet

It’s safe to say that toilet flushing is a daily operation, and something that is hard to imagine life without. Toilet flushing on average accounts for 30% of total in-home water use, so while we won’t make any arguments for removing toilets altogether to conserve water, it’s worth looking at these newer, more efficient toilets that can make a big difference.  By installing a high efficiency toilet in your home you can save over $800 over the lifetime of the product.

The rebate is for $40 back per toilet. Based on the list of qualifying model you can get a high-efficiency toilet that uses less than 1.1 gallons per flush for around $300.

Click here for this rebate: High Efficiency Toilet

 

High Efficiency Clothes Washer

Doing laundry amounts to about 15% of the average residential water usage. Cutting down on the amount of water and energy going into your laundry routine can save you $400 over the washer’s lifespan. There are actually two separate rebates that you can use in conjunction to save on your purchase of a high efficiency clothes washer.

The first comes through SoCal Water$mart and will get you $85 rebated on your purchase. That can be found here:  High Efficiency Clothes Washer

The second one is through SDG&E and is a $25 rebate on your purchase. The information for that one can be found here: SDG&E Washer Rebate

 

Energy Efficient Water Heaters

SDG&E also offers rebates for both Electric and Gas water heaters. To find out which model will be best for you, check out this comprehensive infographic by the Department of Energy. Like the infographic mentions, heating up your water takes up 14-18% of your household energy use, so finding the one that is right for you will be crucial.

Click here for that rebate: Energy Efficieny Water Heaters

 

Pressure Reducing Valve (PRV)

There are plenty of other points in the home where you can save a lot of water over the course of a year. One source of water waste, and something that could be damaging your plumbing system, is at the point where the water enters your homes pipes. The water pressure coming into your home might be too high, which can cause leaky pipes and those wretched noises that haunt every turn of the knobs. By Installing  Pressure Reducing Valve (PRV) you can lower the pressure, and save an average of 30,000-40,000 gallons of water per year.

Read through the page to learn how to apply: City of San Diego Pressure Reducing Valve (PRV) Rebate

 

Socal Water$mart Checkup

This one doesn’t count as a rebate, but it’s a great (and free) way to find out other ways to make your home more efficient. You will receive a free evaluation of your water usage by an expert, recommending you ways to save money and water in your home.
Sign up for that here: Socal Water$mart Checkup.

Socal Water$mart also has this great list of tips for conserving water, which can help you begin thinking about ways to upgrade your daily routines, or to bring home some new technologies to contribute to our regional water conservation efforts.

 

 

With all these technologies and tips combined, you could be saving hundreds of dollars and tens of thousands of gallons every year. That wraps up the indoor water rebates and conservation resources that we found, and if you happen to know of anything we missed, send an email to ali@groundworksandiego.org and we’ll begin spreading the word.

Stay tuned for next month’s newsletter for more rebate information!

 

 

Groundwork San Diego and SDG&E to Increase Science Education in Encanto through $20,000 Grant

By | Community Support

 

San Diego’s first days of school come with a big bonus for students in the Encanto neighborhoods of Southeast San Diego. Over four hundred school children in the Lincoln High School cluster will benefit from a $20,000 grant from SDG&E to support Groundwork San Diego’s Climate Ambassador program and further their science education.

“Our Encanto students, who are already learning much about science and the environment, will benefit even more from SDG&E’s outstanding support,” said Leslie Reynolds, Executive Director of Groundwork San Diego.  Reynolds added, “thousands of local San Diego students have already come to EarthLab to train as environmental stewards and this grant will ensure more youth will be ready to transform our community.”

The Chollas Creek Watershed Climate Ambassadors is a project of Groundwork San Diego-Chollas Creek and the San Diego Unified School District.  Ambassadors are local, K-12 students who participate in science educational activities at the EarthLab, our four-acre outdoor classroom, where students learn about our regional watersheds, and about environmental leadership. The goal of EarthLab is to prepare thousands of inner-city students to enter the global STEM job market and lead climate action.

Millennial Tech Middle School Principal Willie Neil and science teacher Sarah Hillard, along with students and Groundwork EarthLab Director JoAnna Proctor, were on-hand to receive the check from SDG&E Community Relations Manager Morgan Justice-Black.

Thanks SDG&E!

 

Third Annual STEAM Night Attracts Hundreds

By | Community Support

Our third annual STEAM night, hosted by Millennial Tech Middle School and Groundwork EarthLab, was a huge success. Over 300 students, teachers and family members enjoyed a wide-array of interactive, exploratory activities in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math. The MTM choir sang beautifully and the Lincoln High School Drum Line put on an incredible performance of dance rhythms. Students engineered bottle rockets and solar powered cars, planted vegetables to create gardens at home, explored specimens under the microscope, interacted with live marine animals from Scripps Birch Aquarium, and much more. This event was directed by Ms. Hillard, MTM science teacher, and Ms. Proctor, Director of Groundwork EarthLab Education. They would like to thank all of the amazing partners and MTM teachers who donated their time, energy and efforts to create a truly spectacular evening.

Increase Clean Energy supports residential energy efficiency

By | Community Support, Uncategorized

Increase Clean Energy principals Derek and Tony present Groundwork staff with a corporate contribution in support of Groundwork’s energy efficiency outreach efforts.  Leading the Chollas EcoVillage project, Groundwork is bringing free energy and water conservation upgrades to Encanto neighborhoods.  Increase Clean Energy, a leading full service :Green Home” specialty company, is providing free audits. Call Groundwork for more information!  619 543 0430