In celebration of Smart Irrigation Month, Rain Bird Corporation is unveiling the CLC Landscape Renovation Project, a charitable partnership that showcases irrigation products and smart watering practices from 25 Ways to Save, an initiative Rain Bird launched in 2015. Working alongside a coalition of partners and volunteers, a community church and preschool have been transformed into a model of water-efficiency and sustainable landscaping that will bring natural beauty and tremendous water savings to the community for years to come.
“Community Lutheran Church (CLC) and Saddleback Children’s Center in Rancho Santa Margarita, CA had a 30-year-old landscape and outdated irrigation system that was using an average of 1.2 million gallons of water annually,” said Alex Nathanson, Rain Bird’s corporate marketing brand manager. “With California’s recent severe drought, their water bills were continuing to climb, the landscape was suffering and runoff was damaging the parking lot and other hardscape.”
In September of 2015, CLC turned to Santa Margarita Water District for help. A free commercial landscape irrigation survey provided by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California revealed broken sprinkler heads, leaks, high water pressure and generally poor sprinkler coverage throughout the property. An outdated control system and the lack of any weather-sensing or rain shut-off devices further contributed to the irrigation system’s overall inefficiency. Furthermore, the landscape consisted primarily of turf with substantial thatch build-up, making it difficult for water to reach the underlying soil and roots.
“Rain Bird saw this as a great opportunity to help create a beautiful, sustainable, water-efficient landscape that could serve as a model for any home or business,” Nathanson said. “With more than 80 years of experience, the industry’s most complete line of irrigation products and our 25 Ways to Save initiative as a guide, we knew we could show people everywhere that it’s possible to use less water and still enjoy healthy, beautiful landscapes.”
“We in Rancho Santa Margarita are committed to water conservation and the City commends Community Lutheran Church and its partners in the CLC Landscape Renovation Project for their efforts to make our community more water-wise,” said the Honorable Tony Beall, Mayor of Rancho Santa Margarita.
Peter Mowery, design director with C2 Collaborative Landscape Design, developed a detailed, professional landscape plan. Mountain States Wholesale Nursery and Apollo Wood Products stepped up with donations and discounts on beautiful native plants, trees and a mountain of mulch. A-G Sod Farms helped provide new water-efficient sod for the functional turf areas. Contractor George Alonzo and his crew at Advanced Patio & Landscape provided the project labor, taking advantage of the powerful tractor loader backhoe from Compact Power Equipment Rental to remove old plants and shrubs, dig holes for new trees, transport materials and improve the site grading. Within a few weeks, a beautiful, water-efficient landscape full of native plants and colorful flowers began to emerge.
Rain Bird donated all of the water-saving irrigation products needed to transform the old sprinkler system. XFD dripline and QF dripline header were used to convert much of the site to water saving drip. Rain Bird 1800 Spray to Drip Retrofit Kits were used throughout the property to quickly create a connection point for drip tubing, especially on difficult areas like parking lot medians. The addition of a PRS Dial pressure regulator and Quick Check basket filter made it possible to adapt an existing Rain Bird 1.5” brass valve to control a new drip zone. A new state-of-the-art smart control system was created by replacing the two outdated controllers with a single Rain Bird ESP-LXME modular controller, WR2 wireless rain sensor and IQ v3.0 central control. By incorporating a PESB master valve and FS150B flow sensor, the system can accurately track water use and send automatic alerts if any leaks or breaks occur. Rain Bird’s RWS root watering systems are helping new trees flourish, and VB Series valve boxes are keeping the valves protected.
“While much of the old turf was replaced with native plants, trees and mulch, the church members and preschool kids still needed grassy areas for events and playtime,” Nathanson said. “The plan incorporated three sections of new water-efficient sod, complete with intelligent irrigation: Rain Bird’s 5000 Plus PRS pressure regulating rotors are watering the large back patio area; 1800SAMP45 pressure regulating sprays with high efficiency R-VAN rotary nozzles are irrigating the front hill; and XFS subsurface drip emitter tubing is keeping the play area green, cool and healthy for the kids.”
Throughout Smart Irrigation Month, Rain Bird will be sharing photos, tips and ideas from the CLC Landscape Renovation Project on social media (Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.) The project will continue to provide value beyond the month of July, as the water district and other project partners use the site to educate others on how to improve their landscapes, discover beautiful new plant species and use far less water. Visit http://www.rainbird.com/SIM-CLC to learn more about the unique challenges of the project, the valuable contributions of the partners and watch the story unfold from concept to completion.
“We definitely want everyone to hear the story behind the CLC project, but we also encourage anyone who’s interested in reducing their outdoor water use to visit our 25 Ways website,” Nathanson said. “There, they’ll find lots of water-saving tips for residential properties, commercial sites, golf courses and farms. Water is one of our planet’s more precious resources and it is important for all of us to use water more intelligently.”
From intelligent control systems, drip irrigation and recycled water solutions to innovative pumps, filters, valves, rotors, sprays and nozzles, Rain Bird products make it possible for homes, farms, businesses, parks and golf courses to conserve more water. Employees throughout the Rain Bird organization are committed to The Intelligent Use of Water™, teaching irrigation professionals how to design and install more efficient systems and educating consumers worldwide about responsible outdoor water use.
ABOUT RAIN BIRD
Based in Azusa, Calif., Rain Bird Corporation is the world’s leading manufacturer and provider of irrigation products and services. Since its beginnings in 1933, Rain Bird has offered the industry’s broadest range of irrigation products for farms, golf courses, sports arenas, commercial developments and homes in more than 130 countries around the globe. Rain Bird has been awarded more than 450 patents, including the first in 1935 for the impact sprinkler. Rain Bird and The Intelligent Use of Water™ are about using water wisely. Its commitment extends beyond products to education, training and services for the industry and the community. Rain Bird maintains state-of-the-art manufacturing assembly facilities in the United States, China and Mexico. www.rainbird.com.