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Santa Barbara’s WELDesign Honored for Innovative Green Landscape Projects

Santa Barbara Beautiful Award winner also featured on Habitat for Humanity 2010 Tour of Green Homes

Wilson Environmental Landscape Design Inc. (WELDesign) has been named the recipient of the prestigious 2010 Santa Barbara Beautiful Award, along with architect Dennis Thompson and Robert Andre Construction.

The honor was bestowed for work on an environmentally friendly residence in Santa Barbara’s Mesa neighborhood. The property showcases landscaping designed for beauty, sustainability, as well as water and energy conservation — saving the homeowner money, time and natural resources.

“I’m excited that Santa Barbara Beautiful recognizes the value of our team’s dedication to enhancing our client’s interaction with nature by designing landscapes that benefit both people and surrounding ecosystems,” said Daniel Wilson, president of WELDesign and a 2010 winner of Central Coast Magazine’s 2010 Green Award for innovations in sustainability.

“This philosophy is also reflected in our recently completed residential project in Hope Ranch, which was featured on the recent Habitat for Humanity 2010 Tour of Green Homes.

“A key to success is working with the property owner to put creativity and care for the environment to work,” he said. “The goal of the two-acre Hope Ranch endeavor was to build child-friendly spaces that allow food to be grown, digging in the garden, raising chickens and playing soccer in a chemical-free, water-conserving and energy-generating yard.”

The property incorporates the use of a variety of buffalo grass that requires about one-fifth the water and nutrients of traditional lawns and reduces the need for frequent mowing. A Home Food Forest™ created for year-round eating includes raised veggie beds, numerous fruit trees situated for privacy, summer shade and winter warmth, dozens of blueberry bushes for free-range family grazing, on-site composting and a chicken coop to close the “ecosystem loop.”

“Raising hens is a new trend many of clients are requesting right now,” Wilson said. “A predator-proof chicken coop is a requirement for a safe and enjoyable chicken-raising and egg-collecting experience.”

With water conservation so critical, WELDesign retrofitted the entire property with efficient irrigation, coupled with an on-site weather station tied to the irrigation controller, making it a SMART system. The landscape uses 40 percent less water while improving the health of the landscape and the productivity of the food plants.

“This will save the homeowner significantly on their water bills, too,” Wilson said. “Water conservation is a vital service WELDesign offers to create ways for a solid return on investment.”

WELDesign is a locally owned, fully licensed, bonded and insured landscape design, build and maintenance company. Click here for more information or call 805.957.4729.

Green Hawk interactive producer Sarah Ettman-Sterner focuses on current environmental trends and marine-related topics. A member of the Society for Environmental Journalists, she provided the “voice” for Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Futures Society for more than a decade. She can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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