Throughout the Community Gardens you will find Learning Stations. At each station you will find a QR code which leads back to this page. Further reading for each station can be found on our Gardening Websites page.
- Barn Owl Nesting Box
- Bluebird Nesting Box
- California Native Plants
- Chicken Coop
- Honey Bees
- Monarch Butterflies
- Solar Power
Barn Owl Nesting Box
The Community Garden of Santa Clarita has installed two Barn Owl Nesting boxes at the gardens to control the rodent issues in a non toxic manner. Barn Owls will not only serve as pest control, but as an educational tool inside the gardens. Our Education Committee will be monitoring the nest with the use of an owl camera as well as checking for owl pellets nearby the boxes. During the non-nesting months of October and November we will be cleaning out the boxes for the next season.
Bluebird Nesting Box
The Community Gardens of Santa Clarita have installed bluebird boxes within our gardens in an effort to encourage restoring the Western Bluebird population in our area which has been displaced by development and fire suppression. Bluebirds are instrumental to management of harmful insects, which are part of their diet, not only within our community but in larger agricultural activities.
California Native Plants
The Community Gardens of Santa Clarita has a number of native California plants throughout the gardens. One of our favorite native plants is the California poppy. This native flower is the state flower of California and can be found growing heavily in our poppy stream and native garden at the back of the community gardens.
We also have a number of of shrubs throughout our native butterfly garden as well as our back native garden. The native plants throughout the gardens encourage pollinators inside the garden and help with pollinating the various vegetables, fruits, and trees we grow and maintain.
The Community Gardens of Santa Clarita has embraced the importance of having chickens in a community garden. The many sustainable benefits of keeping chickens cannot be understated:
- Excellent compost turners
- Nitrogen rich manure
- Great tillers
- Great garbage disposals
- Provide insect control
- Delicious eggs
The Community Gardens of Santa Clarita is an excellent educational resource for composting. We have a large composting area in the back of the gardens and a committee dedicated to turning out the best product possible to help restore nutrients into our garden plots. Composting at the gardens helps garden members enrich the soil in their plots, retain water, and suppress plant disease and pests. As our garden use an all organic method of gardening, the compost helps to keep chemical fertilizers out of the gardens. Our compost helps to promote the production of beneficial bacteria and fungi that break down the organic matter to create humus. Humus is a rich nutrient filled material. Composting also reduces the methane emissions from landfills as well as lowers our carbon footprint.
In the winter 2015 the Community Gardens of Santa Clarita installed a beautiful greenhouse. The greenhouse is used by all garden members to start their seeds for each season and is also used to grow milkweed for our butterfly and pollinator gardens. The use of greenhouse has allowed garden members to grow a wide variety of vegetables and fruits found all over the world. It has also allowed us to participate in seed programs throughout the country.
For eleven months out of the year the Community Gardens of Santa Clarita is buzzing with bees. These beautiful hard working insects spend the warm part of the day flying from one flower to the next collecting pollen to bring home to their hive. Although the Community Gardens does not have a bee hive it is still home to the local natural hives found around Central Park. Every inch of our garden is buzzing with the hard work of these majestic little workers, one of the most important pollinators in the world.
At the Community Gardens of Santa Clarita, we have one Monarch Way Station garden and another pollinator garden. Both gardens grow milkweed and are a place for monarch butterflies to lay their eggs. There is a Milkweed Aviary in the southwest corner of the garden. Although a number of other butterfly species can be found inside of our gardens through out the year, it is the monarch butterfly that we pay close attention to. Planting milkweed inside our gardens helps to increase the population of monarch’s. Many garden members plant flowers that attract pollinators especially butterflies. Butterflies are important because they are indicators of a healthy environment and healthy ecosystem. Areas rich in butterflies are rich in other invertebrates. These collectively provide a wide range of environmental benefits, including pollination and natural pest control.
The Community Gardens of Santa Clarita utilizes solar power inside our garden shed for light and charging power tools, as well as lighting under our pergola for evening classes and events. The system has the option of adding on panels for additional power in the future. This power was possible by the use of solar energy. Solar Power is a great example of sustainability in our community as we try each and everyday to reuse products inside the gardens.