MUS Receives Award
Montecito Union School has received a Certificate of Recognition for valuable contributions towards water efficiency, conservation and stewardship from Montecito Water District. This award recognizes many steps that Montecito Union School has taken to reduce water consumption and model good water stewardship for the community.
In recent years MUS has implemented several highly visible projects which provide examples of landscaping alternatives that can dramatically reduce water use, such as replacing lawn with mulch at the school’s main entry. As the landscape has changed, the Water District has tracked a significant decline in Montecito Union School’s water usage. While the focus of this award is water efficiency, the school’s conservation efforts also demonstrate good citizenship and fiscal responsibility.
The school completed several new projects this summer, and this award recognizes that water stewardship was a primary consideration in their planning and execution. These new projects include new playgrounds and new accessible pathways, which reduced the thirsty lawn area.The new parking area is paved with pervious concrete, a very porous medium that allows water to drain to the underlying soils. When rain falls, rather than running to the ocean through storm drains, the rainwater will make its way through this concrete and contribute to groundwater recharge.The new parking lot also features a central landscaped area that is actually a bioswale with curb cuts. Rainwater that is not captured by the pervious concrete will flow into the bioswale, watering the plants and further augmenting groundwater recharge.The plants selected for the bioswale are drought tolerant and served with efficient drip irrigation.
“While students will enjoy the newly constructed playgrounds and parents will appreciate the improved parking, the entire community benefits from these very public projects that demonstrate mindfulness of water use,” said MWD public information officer Laura Camp. “Montecito Water District is honored to present this award to Montecito Union School for exemplary custodianship of water resources,” she said.