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In November, the College of the Canyons Canyon Country campus will introduce a new Native Planting lecture series that will explore the fascinating world of native gardening while helping community members learn how they can adopt some of the environmentally sensitive and draught tolerant gardening techniques the Canyon Country campus has implemented into its landscaping design.

“The Canyon Country campus offers a tremendous setting to explore how native plantings can be implemented into any landscape design,” said Dr. Dena Maloney, Vice President of the Canyon Country Campus and Economic Development. “Our campus features more than 40 types of trees, shrubs and plants, many of which are native to this region of Southern California.”

The first lecture in the college’s new Native Planting lecture series will take place from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Nov. 5, at the Carl A. Rasmussen Amphitheater, located on the Canyon Country campus.

Appropriate for community members including children in grades four through six, the event will include a walking tour of the campus and accompanying lecture by COC adjunct biology instructor Kathy Sloan.

Sloan holds a Master of Science degree in Ecology from University of California at Davis and a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from UCLA. An avid environmentalist and biologist, Sloan has taught at College of the Canyons for 24 years, primarily in organismal and environmental biology.

During the tour attendees will have opportunities to take in the various natural settings and scenic views that make the Canyon Country campus so unique, while learning about the various drought proof and fire resistant landscape designs employed by the college.

The campus’ walkways, quads and courtyard areas, which have been landscaped with a varied mixture of bright and aesthetically pleasing plant life, will also be included as part of the tour.

Other topics of discussion will include:

– Southern California native plant communities

– The advantages and drawbacks of using native plants, chaparral and wildflowers in your yard

– How to select and cultivate native plantings

– How to trim and maintain native plantings for both beauty and safety

– Recognizing plants at your local nursery that require less water

After the tour, all participants will receive a seed packet of California native plantings to take home and begin using in their own landscape designs.

“This series will be especially appealing to homeowners that want to learn how to make the switch to a more draught tolerant landscape,” Maloney said. “However, we invite all students and community members to come take part in this exciting new lecture series and see for themselves what type of landscaping is possible by using native plantings.”

The Native Gardening lecture is funded by a community grant from the City of Santa Clarita.

The Canyon Country campus is currently developing a number of additional on-campus garden areas that may be incorporated into future Native Planting lecture series events.

Such projects include an outdoor research garden to be used in conjunction with the college’s new Environmental Studies and Environmental Science courses; a small children’s garden as part of the campus’ Early Childhood Education Center; a veteran’s tribute garden; a dry creek garden; a slope demonstration area; a moonlight garden; and a cactus and succulent garden.

For more information about the College of the Canyons Native Gardening Lecture Series, call the college’s Canyon Country campus at 661-362-3801.

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