By: Karla Rodriguez, Zoe Taulli, Celeste Osorio, Marlene Mora, and Isabella Vergara
Sarah walks in with several cardboard boxes. She sets up two plastic containers filled with dirt and has PVC pipes running into plastic beakers. She introduces herself as Sarah Heilman who has been working for the city of Austin’s watershed protection for 14 years. She specializes in having clean water. She says that plants and soil can help absorb runoff water. Sarah has been interested in nature since she was in high school,” I liked to be outdoors and camp.” Sarah works on watershed protection for a living, but also gives tours to people who want to know more about caves. Today, she has a 4 and 2 year old. She also likes running and swimming.
Sarah helped us understand what to include in a garden environment. We learned that in the garden, you want to focus more on many plants and not pervious surfaces. Pervious surfaces don’t absorb water, so the water can get dirty and evaporate. Plants and soil however, can absorb water so that it won’t go to waste. She taught us that gardening is beneficial as well, not just another pretty thing to look at. If you choose to be a green gardener you could use compost for the soil, compost is really good for the soil because it gives back the proper nutrients the plants need. You should also go for the native plants because they do not require as much water as non native plants, making you be water wise by the reducing the amount of water you waste. In return you get a lot re beneficial bugs coming to live in your garden.
When Sarah Helman came to talk to us she talked a lot about gardening and what plants are good for Texas. She shared the benefits of having Native plants in your garden as well as what edible plants are good to plant in Texas. Sarah helped us understand that one small garden can have a big effect. Gardening can help keep our water cleaner and prevent less runoff water. This is because plants have roots that can absorb the water and keep the soil in place to prevent dirty water.Thanks to Sarah we are more aware of certain attributes that our garden will need to be at its best in the Texas weather.
Here are some tips, tricks, and important things to know that Sarah Helman told us about gardens. An important reason to grow a garden is because it helps your local water quality. It does this in two ways, one is that the plants hold in the dirt so that there is minimal erosion, and two is that the roots of the plants create a passageway for the water to get into the ground. If you are making a garden, you should use native plants because their roots are longer and they can reach for water in Texas’ dry weather so they don’t need as much maintenance. These also attract birds and bugs that are good for your garden. We can use all of this on our Garden ventura project, so that our garden can be green, with little waste, and look great!
Sarah Helman helped us a ton with teaching us all about the greenest ways to landscape, and the best, most drought tolerant plants and native Texas plants. Sarah Helman helped us to create ideas for the greenest garden possible so that we can use less water and resources. Thanks a lot Ms. Heilman.