The City of Santa Maria Utilities Department is pleased to collaborate with Allan Hancock College and the Santa Barbara County WaterWise Program to offer the “Green Gardener Program” at the Santa Maria campus.

This program will begin Tuesday, Feb. 25 and continue on Tuesday and Thursday evenings for five weeks as part of the AHC noncredit community education programs.

Offering training in resource-efficient landscape maintenance, the bilingual instructor will have presentations and materials in both English and Spanish languages. Interested residents can preregister at the AHC Community Education Office (Building S) on campus at 800 S. College Drive in Santa Maria, or online by clicking here (click “Apply & Register”; then click “Apply for Community Ed Classes”). The cost for the class is a $7 materials fee.

The 10 classes will cover water efficient irrigation, green waste reduction, fertilizer management, pesticide reduction, low maintenance plant material selection, and pollution prevention. Benefits to local residents who hire “Green Gardeners” include economic savings due to reduced use of resources, healthier landscapes, and the satisfaction of knowing they are protecting the environment and public health. Benefits to gardeners include education by green landscaping experts, informative materials, and healthier landscapes and workers.

The “Green Gardener Program” is supported by the City of Santa Maria Utilities Department and the County of Santa Barbara, two agencies working together to promote mutual objectives of resource efficiency, water conservation and pollution reduction.

For more information about the classes, call AHC at 805.922.6966 x3209. Click here for more information about the countywide “Green Gardener Program.”

— Mark van de Kamp represents the City of Santa Maria.