Strengthen the local economy through planning, development and infrastructure, protect San Diego’s natural and agricultural resources and promote opportunities for residents to engage in community life and civic activities.
The Board increased water efficiency standards for new and existing landscapes, limited the use of turf, and now captures and reuses rainwater and graywater whenever possible.
The Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) launched an ambitious program to reduce water usage at its facilities, saving over 60 million gallons. DPR cut back on irrigation, converted eight campground showers to coin operation, took out non-essential turf, upgraded irrigation systems at 13 parks and is converting three additional sports fields from natural to synthetic turf.
The Department of Public Works (DPW) cut water use by 34 percent on the irrigation of roadway landscaping over the last year. Potable water consumption dropped 70 percent cumulatively at County Airports’ updated landscaping areas. Staff retrofitted all 25 DPW road stations with more efficient plumbing fixtures and eliminated over 209,000 square feet of irrigated areas
The County also worked to help residents and businesses conserve water. The Department of Agriculture, Weights and Measures launched a Drought Disaster Information webpage for farmers, ranchers and farmworkers who may qualify for a disaster loan. The Department of Environmental Health distributed 2,150 brochures to restaurants on how to save water while still protecting food safety and public health.
DROUGHT'S TOLL ON AGRICULTURE AND THE ENVIRONMENT
Droughts weaken plants and trees making them prone to insects and disease. One dramatic example can be found at Tijuana River Valley Regional Park. A pest new to the county was discovered there, the invasive shot hole borer. These pests destroyed about 100,000 willow trees at the park.
Shot hole borers affect approximately 300 plant species, including the avocado tree, which in 2014 had a local crop value of $154 million.
The Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) partnered with Agriculture, Weights and Measures, land agencies and forestry experts to find ways to minimize losses. Meantime, DPR staff members are getting trained on how to detect and report shot hole borer warning signs.
DPR was already fighting another threat, the goldspotted oak borer. This pest wiped out thousands of oak trees across the county in recent years. DPR implemented a pest management program in 2014 to protect its remaining oaks. More than 500 trees in eight parks were treated to prevent the pest from taking hold and a new web-based mapping program developed last year tracks progress. Tree surveys show the treatments appear to be working.
To replace the oak tree canopy, DPR is planting at least one tree for every one that was lost. A variety of trees are being planted so invasive pests that affect a particular tree species like the oak borer will not destroy a park’s entire forest.
You can have a say in how to approach certain challenges in San Diego County. The County even offers Resident Leadership Academies that train residents how to use their people power to improve the community. Or, you can roll up your sleeves and physically pitch in to make our home a better place. Either way, this is your home – get involved!
HERE ARE SOME WAYS RESIDENTS MADE A DIFFERENCE:
During workshops, the public gave its feedback on proposed designs for the Lakeside Equestrian Park, Borrego Springs Park and the Lindo Lake Basin Improvement projects. The Department of Parks and Recreation revised the projects to better meet residents’ needs.
The Department of Public Works (DPW) held workshops to get the public’s input on recycling food waste in the wake of new regulations that affect businesses, public entities and multi-family complexes.
DPW staff worked with all 26 community planning and sponsor groups to develop road maintenance priorities. Those groups volunteered about $940,000 worth of their time helping decide important County issues.
Volunteer master gardeners for the University of California Cooperative Extension donated more than 22,953 hours to teach thousands of residents about home horticultural issues.
At County parks, volunteers maintained trails, helped with youth and seniors programs, and provided extra eyes and ears to make parks safer.
Selected Sheriff’s inmates learned skills in landscaping as part of the Community Involved Vocational Inmate Crew Service (CIVICS) program. Those skills were used at County Parks and may lead to a possible career after the inmates’ release.
The Sheriff’s Department also started a volunteer youth advisory group in summer 2015. Teens from around the region meet regularly with Sheriff’s deputies. They serve as mentors, and in turn, the teens share their safety concerns and other issues.
The Public Defender joined local law schools and other organizations in recruiting volunteers who wanted to learn more about the criminal justice system. These volunteers donated 80,000 hours of their time helping attorneys prepare for court.
Love books? Volunteers gave over 134,000 service hours to County libraries last fiscal year.
6,122 poll workers staffed 1,522 precincts during the June 7, 2016 Presidential Primary.
Nearly 1,000 volunteers helped the Department of Animal Services by walking dogs or caring for the cats and kittens.
– Our Customers –
“… you were so helpful and put my mind at ease about my fumigation… I’m 80 years old and just don’t know where to turn sometimes. I’m so glad there’s a department out there that can help us and doesn’t make us feel stupid for asking questions.”
Public Works Customer
“…(she) helped to guide myself and my team through the necessary processes and steps required to ensure our water system meets the required health and safety requirements. ...with Janelle’s detailed and patient approach, she has walked us through every step…”
Environmental Health Customer
“You both represent regulation at its finest with loads of common sense, efficiency and a can do attitude. We are very grateful…”
Public Works Customer
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