G3 Residential & Garden Steward Programs

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The G3 Residential and Garden Steward Programs are interactive, hands-on, peer-to-peer training classes and workshops designed to motivate people from all backgrounds and gardening experience toward advocating for and making more sustainable choices in their landscapes and gardens.

For More Information, Visit G3?s Watershed Wise Training Website:


G3 offers four classes for residents and garden stewards: Hands-on Workshops (HOWs), Watershed Basics Classes, Neighborhood Walks, Conservation Coaching, and Garden Steward Series (Maintenance Practices).  These classes can be customized to fit your educational program.  If you would like to sponsor a class, or become involved in putting together coalitions and writing grants to fund classes in your area, please Contact G3.  All G3 Homeowner and Garden Steward Programs are taught by G3 Qualified Trainers, and are custom tailored for regional and client-specific messaging.

Hands-on Workshops (HOWs)

Hands-on Workshops HOW:  Turf Removal and Soil Building

These in-garden learning events are designed to help people bridge the gap from conceptual learning in the classroom to implementation of best management practices on their own property.  The difficulty of the subject matter varies with the HOW topic, but all are professionally led and designed to provide valuable hands-on experience to the least skilled residents and property stewards as well as to knowledgeable professionals.

HOWs have been developed to cover the following sustainable landscaping topics:

1.   Mini-Watershed Site Assessment
2.   Residential Landscape Design Seminar
3.   Turf Removal / Soil Building / Sheet Mulching
4.   Downspout Redirect / Sponge Garden Construction
5.   Successful Native Habitat Planting / Drip Irrigation
6.   Advanced Rainwater Catchment Strategies / Curb Cutting
7.   Garden Stewardship (Maintenance) / Irrigation Controllers

HOWs can be experienced sequentially or individually.  Taken in combination, all significant topics discussed in the classroom related to assessing a site and implementing watershed wise landscaping solutions are covered by these seven workshops.

Watershed Basics Classes

Watershed Basics Classes Watershed Basics Classes usually are sponsored by water providers, local city agencies or privately funded by organizations wanting to make a difference in the community.

Watershed Basics Class

The primary objective of the Watershed Basics Class is to help participants understand their connection with the urban watershed in which they live, demonstrate strategies for reducing potable water consumption, and teach rainwater retention through the creation of beautiful, sustainable, habitat-enhancing landscapes.

The principles of sustainable landscaping are illustrated through several concepts including:

1.   Understanding the Underlying Environmental Issues of Your Watershed
2.   Developing a "Sense of Place" (Understanding Plant Water Requirements)
3.   Nurturing The "Soil Party" in Living Soil and Building a "Sponge Garden"
4.   Capturing "First Flush" and Eliminating Dry-weather Runoff
5.   Planting Climate-Appropriate Gardens and Selecting Local Native Plants
6.   Employing Water Efficient Irrigation Techniques
7.   Empowering Yourself and Your Neighbors To Make And Sustain Changes

Lawn Patrol Poster Water Smart

Neighborhood Garden Walks

Who needs to wait until the next garden tour to see Watershed Wise gardens?  Neighborhood Garden Walks are social, fun, organized, professionally led excursions through a regular neighborhood to better understand the elements of the local watershed that provide opportunities for improvement and those that deserve to be recognized as restorative for the watershed.  Surfrider's OFG Program utilizes Neighborhood Garden Walks (Lawn Patrol) to introduce volunteers to the principles of C.P.R. and get momentum started for the OFG Program by spotting properties that qualify for an OFG Yard Sign, or are very close to qualifying.

Conservation Coaching

G3 Associate and Conservation Coach, Roger Motti

Roger Motti G3's Conservation Coaching Program offers people the opportunity to engage one-on-one with landscape professionals and experts to solve problems in their gardens.  Coaching is conducted by phone, email, and in person on an hourly basis.  All G3 Conservation Coaches have completed the Core Concepts Workshop and most also are Qualified Trainers with Field Leader experience.  Coaches are ready to answer a wide variety of questions, but the frequently asked are the following:

1.   Creating A Site Plan and Evaluating The Property
2.   Removing Turf Without Chemicals / Building Soil Sponge
3.   Redirecting Downspouts Into Landscapes / Grading For Rainwater Capture
4.   Selecting and Finding Climate-Appropriate Plants
5.   General Design Questions
6.   Planning and Installing Irrigation Systems

Garden Steward Series

G3 is developing its Garden Steward Series of workshops to bring people who maintain gardens (residential, commercial, and public) into their rightful role as stewards of the environment.  At the core of the Garden Steward Series is a deep understanding of Water and Resource Management Techniques including:

1.   Plant/Soil/Water Relationship For Water Budgeting
2.   Irrigation Hydraulics and Troubleshooting
3.   Irrigation Controller Programming
4.   Elimination of Dry-Weather Runoff
5.   Creation of Living Soil Without Synthetic Inputs
6.   Sponge Garden Maintenance
7.   Healthy Plant Maintenance

The G3 Garden Steward Series was inspired by blending Santa Barbara, CA's Green Gardener Program with various Water Management certification programs.  As G3 is focused on teaching for understanding, the Garden Steward Series emphasizes hands-on, peer-to-peer training over classroom work, and is closely affiliated with the G3 HOWs.  Workshops within the Series are offered in English and Spanish, and all course materials are translated into Spanish.

The objective of developing the Garden Steward Series, and pairing it with the Watershed Basics Classes and HOWs, is to create a Garden Steward Qualification.  G3 is working with its Program Partners to ensure that this Qualification is recognized by property owners as a value-added skill set worth paying a living wage to gain the partnership of a trained landscape steward rather than a garden janitor.