Eco-Friendly Gratitude

Thanksgiving Day is right around the corner, and this fall we are feeling extra grateful for the privilege we have of enjoying mother nature at its best. While California is experiencing a historic drought, we cannot help but feel grateful for our watersheds. Especially our healthy watersheds.

It is important we work together to keep our watersheds healthy. Watersheds provide us with clean drinkable water to our communities and provide water for growing food, including our delicious Thanksgiving Day food.

By becoming #WatershedWarriors, we are helping reduce the negative effects of drought and reducing the impacts of flooding. Therefore, we are allowing the waterways to be used as a recreation area for future generations.

Show your gratitude for our watersheds by keeping them clean. Do your part to prevent water pollution by properly disposing of pet waste and household trash and making sure you’re not letting any harmful chemicals flow into the street. Remember, we are in this together, if you see pollution in our watersheds report it here.

Thank you for being a #WatershedWarrior! 

National Hiking Day

National Hiking Day is the perfect excuse to ditch your phone and enjoy the outdoors. Celebrated on November 17th, it is the best way to appreciate nature’s beauty and wonder by exploring the vast hiking trails we have available in Riverside County.

Here are some of our favorite hiking spots:

-Kabian Park currently offers 1 acre of developed park space and over 600 acres of hiking and equestrian trails through Quail Valley. For more information regarding Kabian Park, click here.
Santa Rosa Plateau is located in Murrieta, and is a 9,000-acre ecological reserve. Santa Rosa features activities such as hiking, biking and equestrian trails, offers educational 3rd grade field trips and is the home to historic adobe structures from the 1800’s. Click here to learn more. 
Idyllwild Nature Center is located in Idyllwild, is home to Cahuilla native culture and offers history education, guided tours and hikes. For more information, click here.

What are you waiting for? Grab your family and take them to explore the wonders of their backyard at one of the available hiking trails in Riverside County. Remember, when you are out on trail to always be aware of your surroundings and pick up any litter you might come across with. Help us keep our trails clean and healthy for future generations to enjoy.

America Recycles Day

Join us in celebrating America Recycles Day on November 15. On this special day, we would like to help us encourage people to reduce littering in our communities. One way of participating is by always keeping in mind the 3 R’s: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

By reducing the single-use products you buy, the less trash you create! Changing small habits, like bringing your own reusable cups to the coffee shop can go a long way. Some grocery stores and coffee shops offer incentives for customers to bring their own reusable bags and cups, there might be a store near you that participates. This way we can teach future generations an easy and convenient way to reduce waste and protect the environment.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the recycling rate has increased from less than 7 percent in 1960 to the current rate of 32 percent. A study conducted by the EPA found that recycling and reuse activities in the United States accounted for 681,000 jobs and $37.8 billion in wages.

Here are some benefits of recycling:

  • Reduces the amount of waste sent to landfills and incinerators
  • Conserves natural resources such as timber, water, and minerals
  • Increases economic security by tapping a domestic source of materials
  • Prevents pollution by reducing the need to collect new raw materials
  • Saves energy
  • Supports American manufacturing and conserves valuable resources
  • Helps create new well-paying jobs in the recycling and manufacturing industries in the United States.

There is always an opportunity to help us keep earth clean and healthy for generations to come. For more information, click here.

Enjoy an Eco-Friendly Halloween

The leaves are starting to turn brown and soon we will begin to feel a chill in the air, which can only mean one thing – Halloween is right around the corner! If you have begun to plan your spooktacular Halloween festivities, let us help you with some sustainable tips for this season.

  • Use items from your existing closet to create your costume. We suggest scrolling through Pinterest for amazing DIY Halloween costume inspiration.
  • Reuse past Halloween decoration. By reusing past decorations, you are practicing a sustainable lifestyle.
  • Compost your pumpkin leftovers. A benefit of composting your leftover pumpkin is that it contains nutrients and water that can help your plants grow healthier. To learn more about composting at home click here.  
  • Make sure to pick-up any litter you find while you are our trick-or-treating.

Remember, it is our job to leave a better and healthier planet for future generations to enjoy.

Kabian Park

Fall is in the air and if you are looking for a fun day trip for the family to enjoy, look no further than Kabain Park. The park that was developed in 1968 was bought with money donated by Madeline Kabian, who wanted to name the park in honor of her deceased son, Roy. Since 1974, the park has been used as a regional wildlife refuge and it is managed by the County Parks Department.

The park currently offers 1 acre of developed park space and over 600 acres of hiking and equestrian trails through Quail Valley. The park is open from 8 a.m. to sunset daily, for you and your family to enjoy a barbecue on the park’s grassy picnic areas or a day spotting the different type of wildlife that make the park their home. Additional amenities within the park include gazebos with barbeque grills, drinking fountains, and playground facilities.

For more information regarding Kabian Park, click here.

Car Maintenance Guidelines to Prevent a Big Problem for Our Waterways

Want to keep your car running smoothly while simultaneously keeping our waterways clean and healthy? Well, you have come to the right place! Below we will give the tips and tricks you need to give your car maintenance in the most eco-friendly way possible.

It is crucial to keep up with regular car maintenance to prevent any leakage of oil, antifreeze or any other fluids. If you detect a leakage or spillage of your car, clean it up quickly. We recommend cleaning it with an absorbent material like kitty litter and dispose of it at a collection center. To find a collection center near you click here.

When washing your car keep in mind that it may have picked up a few pollutants that have stuck around for a ride. These pollutants need to be kept away from out waterways. If you are taking your car to get a wash, make sure you are taking it to a car wash that reclaims water. This means that they will ensure that the oil, grease or pollutants they wash away wont end up in our storm drains. If you wash your car yourself, drive your vehicle onto a permeable surface like your yard and use biodegradable and phosphate-free soaps, cleaners and detergents.

By following these easy car maintenance guidelines, you are helping us keep our waterways clean and healthy for generations to come. If you want to learn more about eco-friendly car maintenance, visit our website here.

Help Us Prevent Litter 

There are many ways you can help protect our planet, from taking part in a community clean up event to teaching your children to become #WatershedWarriors! There is always an opportunity to help us keep earth clean and healthy for generations to come.

Here are some tips on how to make small lifestyle changes that will leave a positive impact for future generations:

  • Dispose Properly: Illegal dumping threatens the visceral beauty of our watersheds and the ecosystem surrounding it. If you want to get rid of a large piece of furniture but are not sure where to dispose of it, click here.
  • Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: The fewer single-use products you buy, the less trash you create! Changing small habits, like bringing your own reusable cups to the coffee shop can go a long way. Some grocery stores and coffee shops offer incentives for costumers to bring their own reusable bags and cups, do some research, there might be a store near you that does it.
  • Cover Up: Keep lids on garbage and recycling trash cans to prevent litter from being blown away or scattered by animals.

If you are interested in taking it further and volunteering for one of our community clean up events, you can check out our calendar here.

Watershed Warrior’s Gardening 101 

The grass isn’t always greener on the other side. What if we told you that you can have a healthy garden without the excessive use of pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers?

When gardening, practicing the 4 S’s will help you achieve the garden of your dreams in no time. 

The 4 S’s are: 

  • SELECT – When you want to get rid of pests and pump up the quality of your soil always SELECT the least toxic option. You will be surprised by the wonders of all-natural compost; organic food scraps and yard waste are a boon to plants and the planet.
  • STRATEGICALLY – When applying chemical products to your lawn or garden, STRATEGICALLY do so on days when rain is not expected. This will prevent the chemical from ending up in our watershed, polluting our watershed. 
  • SPOT-APPLY – SPOT-APPLY pesticides or chemicals only to the area that needs treatment.
  • SAFELY – Always make sure you SAFELY dispose of unwanted household hazardous waste at a collection center. To learn more about what items qualify as a household hazardous waste click here.

For more information about our gardening resources, you can visit our website here.

California-Friendly Plants for your Garden

California is experiencing a historic drought, and we are all being asked to make sacrifices to save water. Watering our grass has been one of those sacrifices Californians have been asked to participate in. But did you know there are plants native to California that do not require much water to survive?

Having plants native to your environment is the best way to keep a beautiful garden and adhere to the drought rules. Local plant species are characterized as being able to better absorb and use water more efficiently during periods of droughts to survive.

If you want vibrant colored native plants in your yard, here are some of our favorites:

Apricot Mallow (Sphaeralcea Ambigua): This plant is native to California, and it grows well in alkaline soil.

• California Fuchsia (Epilobium Canum or Zauschneria): This plant is native to dry slopes and chaparral of western North America, especially California. During the late summer and autumn seasons, it blooms bright scarlet flowers.

• California Redbud (Cercis Occidentalis): This easily recognized plant blooms from March to May, and when in full bloom it is covered with small pink and purple flowers.

Next time you are thinking about re-doing your garden or yard, look into incorporating native plants. By planting plants that are drought resistant you are helping future generations inherit an earth they can enjoy and help protect for years to come.

Stormwater Pollution Prevention 

Did you know that rainwater and irrigation runoff travels over land and picks up what we’ve left behind? This means that pollutants such as trash, pet waste and fertilizers can end up polluting our watersheds if we are not careful. We have three watersheds to protect here in Riverside County: Santa Ana, Santa Margarita and Whitewater River.

When rainwater and irrigation travel through the streets picking up pollutants, it ends up draining the polluted stormwater into our rivers. This means that the untreated water affects the quality of life of fish and wildlife habitats, recreational areas and drinking water supplies. Meaning that it threatens the water quality and decreases fish populations, or it can make the water unsafe for swimming and fishing. 

Here are some ways you can help prevent stormwater pollution: 

  • Don’t litter
  • Drop off hazardous waste at certified collection facilities. To find the nearest facility to you click here.
  • Make sure you #ScoopThatPoop
  • Don’t overwater, especially in times of droughts
  • Help educate your friends and family. You can find our outreach and education programs here.

If you are interested in locating a watershed near you, click here.

Thank you for helping us keep our watersheds clean and healthy for future generations to enjoy!

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