Construction is expected to begin Tuesday for Manhattan Beach’s eco-friendly garden on the Strand.
The project will transform one of the existing planters on Manhattan Beach Boulevard near the pier to a 2,375 square-foot showcase of sustainable gardening practices, said Sona Kalapura, the city’s environmental programs manager.
The Ocean Friendly Garden should be blooming by March.
“It’s the perfect way to show residents how they can build a garden like this on their own,” Kalapura said. “Sustainable landscaping is one initiative we’re really moving forward with.”
Last January, the city secured a grant of $23,000 from the California Department of Water Resources and West Basin Municipal Water District to turn one of the planters on the Strand into an “ocean-friendly garden,” Kalapura said.
“Ideally in the future we could secure some other funding to re-landscape the other side as well,” she added.
The garden is part of West Basin’s “Ocean Friendly Program,” which since 2008 has groomed landscapes into aesthetic gardens that “revolve around conservation, permeability and retention, all with the aim of conserving water,” according to its website.
Although the city already has several examples of sustainable landscape, from the entrance to City Hall to the Nelson parkway off of Aviation Boulevard, this is the city’s first such project with West Basin, Kalapura said.
After awarding the grant to the city, West Basin and G3, the landscape design contractor, conducted site and soil assessments. A community meeting in August solicited design input and feedback from residents, and in September, City Council approved the plans.
Stout Landscape Design-Build, Inc., hired by West Basin earlier this month, will undertake the construction of the garden.
The garden will exclusively feature California-native plants. It will also utilize environmental site grading and allow for rain water to infiltrate the plant root system.
The site, a steeply sloped landscape previously filled with “some native plants, foliage and palm trees,” has been cleared by the Public Works staff to begin construction, Kalapura said.
She added that the walkway near the garden may be intermittently blocked off during construction, but the Strand will remain open and accessible to the public.