On October 12, 2013, El Camino Real took part in “Operation Woodchips.” Employing the brute strength of our athletics department and the help of ECRCHS Boardmember Jackie Keene, District Director for Los Angeles Councilman Paul Krekorian’s office, ECR spread wood chips over the planting beds around campus. Why? Mulch (aka wood chips) helps retain water, prevent soil loss, and reduce the need to irrigate.
The second annual mulch event was originally scheduled for December 13, 2014, but due to inclement weather — yay for rain — it was rescheduled for January 31, 2015. With the 50 cubic yards of mulch delivered and waiting for dissemination across campus, athletes and Humanitas students tore through the pile in an hour and spread them across campus. Truth be told the wood chips were taking up two of their spots in the student parking lot.
As seen in the video from the Tree People below, mulching is essential for the trees’ health.
In front of ECR’s main entrance on Valley Circle, the Native Plants Club installed drought resistant plantings to demonstrate the types of plants native to this area and further reduce the need for additional irrigation.
Travel to the north side of campus and the school’s combined football and soccer field to see one of our first large scale projects to reduce water consumption. As part of an LAUSD bond measure, an artificial turf was installed, reducing the need for water and pesticides, keeping the field in use year round.
During the 2013-2014 school year, the native plant club, organized by Advanced Placement Biology teacher Ms. Turner-Graham, teamed up with members from the Theodore Payne Foundation to plant native, drought tolerant species in the front of the school. These plants highlight species that have evolved over time to southern California’s arid climate. See below for an example of these Cali-specific species.