CSUN-al Gardening series educates community about importance of animal, plant wildlife

Mercedes Ortiz

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>>>CORRECTION: The gardening workshop is called CSUN-al Gardening, not CSUN al-Gardening.

The CSUN Botanic Garden hosted a gardening workshop last Saturday morning.

The workshop was about converting a garden into an Audubon Habitat and was conducted in Chaparral Hall by Alan Pollack, chair of the San Fernando Valley Audubon Society.

Pollack introduced different ways to convert gardens into a wildlife habitat for plants and animals. He explained the importance of preserving wildlife in gardens, conserving water and providing shelter to animals.

“Our wildlife is important because life on our planet depends upon our biodiversity,” Pollack said. “We need all the wild animals and the wild plants that live in our planet in order for humans to survive.”

Brenda Kanno, Botanic Garden manager, said that more than half of the 120 attendees came from CSUN’s surrounding communities.

Kanno said she feels good because these events are helping CSUN be a good neighbor.

Lynn Ruger, a resident in Woodland Hills, has been coming with her husband to the gardening classes since 2006.

“They are really great and we are grateful to CSUN for being supportive of this,” said Ruger. “We have learned a lot.”

CSUN staff that attended the workshop said they were pleased that the Botanic Garden continues providing this important information for them.

Susan Mueller, history department administrative support specialist, said she wants to “reduce her footprint,” meaning she wants to reduce her demand on the Earth’s ecosystem, by recycling and composting fruits and vegetables. She is using native plants now to help her achieve her goal.

Louise Adams, testing center administrative support staff, said she has also joined the movement to protect wildlife in gardens. She has already removed her lawn at home to bring in more native plants.

Workshop facilitator Pollack offered to personally help some of the attendees with their home gardens, and provided them with his business card.

“I hope to plant seeds in people’s brains that will encourage them to think about what kind of garden they have and [how] to make it wildlife friendly,” Pollack said.

He also added that a number of colleges are becoming more wildlife-friendly and have vastly improved in their landscaping.

Kanno said that the drought-tolerant landscaping approach has already started at CSUN.

“The campus recognizes the need to reduce water usage when they can, [while] still having something attractive to look at.”

The CSUN-al Gardening series has taken place the past 8 years and according to Kanno they will continue in the future.

The next workshop will be held in January 2014. The main topic will be about rose pruning.