Bringing Enviroscaping To Venice


Nicole Rosales, Reporter

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The Venice Learning Garden was unfortunately left barren due to COVID-19 restrictions and the construction of the new buildings. However, the Venice community is working hard to help it flourish again. 

Enviroscaping is essentially green landscaping. Incorporating plant life and eco-friendly landscaping into our everyday urban environment. 

Planting trees, integrating farming in cities, making way for rivers, and even building ponds, are all forms of enviroscaping, some of which are hoping to be integrated into the garden.

Garden and Horticulture teacher Brian Bailey and the Garden Club are dedicated to bringing the garden back and use it to contribute to the environment and the school. What better way than by adding a new pond? 

Earlier this month, Mike Garcia, a landscaper, visited Venice to discuss building a pond in the Learning Garden. Garcia met with Bailey, the adviser of the Gardening Club, and other teachers and students to talk about benefits of enviroscaping.

Garcia has built ponds for Redondo Union High, Inglewood High, and Mira Costa High. His 40-year-old company, Enviroscape LA, specializes in regenerative landscaping and urban food farming, a proponent of regenerative agriculture and creating new vegetation.

Garcia spoke about his views on how people can improve the environment. 

“Sustainability isn’t what we need,” he said. “What we need to do is heal and grow the planet first, then sustain. It’s not about sustainability, it’s about regeneration.”

The foundation of the pond is located towards the back of the garden, lined with rocks with a bridge going across. Garcia, along with teachers and students, discussed cleaning the area, lining the foundation, and installing pumps and filters. There was also talk about adding fish and waterfall features. 

According to Garcia, the pond would help attract new pollinators, such as bees and birds, while also combating the Southern California drought. One of the ways Venice can do this is by building a pond to benefit pollinators in the area. 

“Pollinators, like bees and bugs, need water,” he said. “The bugs get dehydrated from all the salt water in the air, because we are so close to the beach. Creating a clean water source will bring more pollinators into the garden.”

The pond is just one of the projects that the Venice community is using to regrow the Learning Garden. And Mr. Bailey, the Garden Club, and Garcia need all the help they can get. Students are encouraged to be a part of the project and the garden as a whole. 

Students can come on Mondays at lunch as well as Tuesdays after school to meet with the Garden Club. The garden is also open on weekends from 12:00 P.M. to 3:00 P.M., where students can earn community service hours. 

Hopefully the pond can become a place where students can connect and heal the environment, Garcia said.

“If you want to change the world, you’ve got to shape it.”