27 October 2016
  TIME: 11:30AM - 1:30PM
  Meeting Place: UNIVERSITY CLUB
    1332 Santa Barbara Street
    Santa Barbara, California

CHAPLAIN: Harrison Stroud



13 October 2016
  TIME: 10:00AM - 1:30PM
  Meeting Place: Erik Thorlaksson's house. Call Erik to RSVP.
    Lunch will be at noon (RSVP to Erik for lunch).
    Bring clippers, gloves, trowel, & hat.



SPEAKER: Barbara Wishingrad of the Sweetwater Collaborative ( spoke to us about water wise gardening and the Sweet Water Collaborative.

Barbara is a founding member and the coordinator of the Collaborative and has been an environmental steward for over thirty years. Barbara is also a project designer and workshop instructor. She holds a certificate in Permaculture Design (May 2007), is an Accredited Professional through ARCSA (American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association) (Sept 2008), a Certified Water Harvesting Practitioner through Watershed Management Group (July 2009), and a Certified Greywater Installer through Greywater Action (Nov 2009). She has studied Ecological Design, Water Management, Watershed Restoration, Keyline Design, Soil Food Web, and organic gardening.

The purpose of the Collaborative has expanded beyond their initial function as an environmental educational organization. They are now working to provide professional training, research, and facilitating opportunities for collaborative water stewardship. They have been responsible for a multitude of projects including:

  • Water harvesting earthworks/ raingardens
  • Laundry to Landscape and other greywater systems
  • Planting fruit trees and food forests
  • Planting native and vegetable gardens
  • Rainwater tanks, and
  • Soil remediation
Barbara presented a slideshow of projects such as rainwater catchment basins and tanks, drought tolerant plants, greywater systems and food forests.

Sweetwater project

Barbara presented a vide√ł showing the installation of a greywater system. The collaborative will assist owners by viewing their property and advising them what is needed. The video also showed a grey water system attached to a washing machine.

Barbara brought up issues regarding Greywater. For example, California law prohibits the use of this water if it comes in contact with food or people. In Arizona and other states there is no such law.

The philosophy of the collaborative is to be able to live with the drought if we change our gardening and watering methods.

An ad in the Sept 22nd edition of the Independent, along with the home page of Sweetwater Collaborative, invites the public to a walking tour on October 1st thru the Lower Riviera/Eastside, 3-6pm. Water-wise features on this tour include rain gardens, Slimline raintanks, a laundry greywater system, sheet mulching, a branched drain greywater system, a series of large rain tanks, and native plant guilds. The tour will also see water wise garden beds, drought tolerant terraced gardens, and a flagstone patio and paths. At the final stop on the tour, wine and cheese will be enjoyed while relaxing in the landscape. Some of the water wise features highlighted will be a laundry grey water system. sheet mulching, and large rain tanks. Complete information can be found at their website:

At the SweetwaterCollaborative website, click on the "Sign up for bulletin" link and stay informed of their workshops and projects.

Submitted by
Gordon Durenberger


The Activity Day meeting of September 9th was a trip to the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden. Once there we were escorted to the new Pritzlaff Conservation Center, with it's Island View Garden.

Pritzlaff Conservation Center

The Pritzlaff Conservation Center was built on the site of the old Gaines house that burned in the Jesusita fire. We began by having our lunch on the deck upstairs, where we were visited by the Botanic Garden's executive director Steve Windhager, Ph.D. Our tour guide was Geege Ostroff.

Men's Garden Club Group on the deck at Pritzlaff Conservation Center

Our guide, Geege, along with Dr. Windhager informed us of some the many Earth-friendly features of the new Conservation Center. For instance, the solar panels on the roof are expected to provide 70-80% of the building‘s power needs. The air in the HVAC system is drawn through a filter placed under the building so that in the event of a fire, the air inside the center will remain smoke free. Another feature is the underground holding tanks for water capture during rain storms.

The center houses research labs, a seed bank, herbarium space, a classroom, art exhibition/event rental space, 8 offices and 16 cubicles, kitchen and breakroom and public restrooms. It is LEED® Certified.

The gardens around the center are planted with California Natives, as one would expect. But there's also a sizable planting of rare California Natives. In the first photo above, you see the garden club members looking at the stone depiction of the Channel Islands. The building and gardens are a wonderful addition to the Botanic Garden and the Garden Club members in attendance enjoyed the outing.

Garden Club Posing for a photo

Submitted by
Ray Kolbe


Dave Gress has kindly agreed to provide a Private Horticultural Tour of the Santa Barbara Zoo. David made this committment in the name of the Men's Garden Club of Santa Barbara. The tour will be led by David and Nancy McToldridge, the Zoo Director. The tour is scheduled for Saturday, October 8, 2016.
Santa Barbara Zoo logo

Jessica and I signed up for this event, however Jessica will be unable to attend. I would like to invite anyone that's interested to take her place. We'll be meeting at
9:30am at the front gate of the Zoo, located at
500 Niño Drive, Santa Barbara.
The tour will begin at 9:40 and lunch will be provided at 11:30am. The tour will then conclude at noon.

Zoo landscape

Please contact me directly, either by email at or by phone at (805) 705-3429. If you'd like to reimburse the cost of the ticket, that will be provided to the zoo as a donation in the name of the Men's Garden Club of Santa Barbara.

Submitted by
Ray Kolbe