May 25, 2015

The Living Green Garden Grand Opening in Pittsburg

The Living Green Gardens

Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow?

If Mary can't give you the answers, the city of Pittsburg certainly can.

The city's Living Green Gardens hosts its grand opening from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at City Hall, 65 Civic Ave.

The morning gathering will feature exhibit booths about drought-tolerant plants, irrigation, turf alternatives, Lawns-to-Garden program and more. Open to the public, it will also offer information about changing home landscapes, improving irrigation and reducing pesticide use for residents and business owners.

Toted as an "interpretive garden for the community to learn about drought-tolerant plants" and more, the demonstration garden was designed to provide info on plants that require less water, no pesticide use and teach about low-flow irrigation.

Laura Wright with the city of Pittsburg said the garden "is for residents, but also for commercial landscapers to learn about new innovative irrigation techniques, alternative fertilization methods and drought-tolerant plant varieties."

The half-acre garden includes a mixture of native plants, Mediterranean varieties and succulents to "demonstrate that drought-tolerant gardens are vibrant with lots of variety."

Wright said that's a concept many don't consider when thinking drought-resistant.It was also set up to "teach how to naturally enhance the soil with mulch and compost because when plants are healthy, they can naturally resist pests. Living Green Gardens will demonstrate how residents and businesses can have landscapes that require less maintenance, less water, and create habitat that will benefit the plants and soil," Wrigth said.

Another big concept of the Gardens is a focus on the importance of low-flow irrigation.
"There is a great deal of misconception about drip irrigation, which has evolved to provide more efficiency and flexibility with installation ... 
"This system has a fertigation tank to use organic soluble fertilizer within the subsurface irrigation system."
The area also includes various turfs on display, allowing visitors to "look and touch the various grass types."
The concept and planning for the Gardens started a few years ago and was prompted by Kirker Creek, which flows through Pittsburg and labeled an "impaired body of water by EPA for trash and pesticides.
"We wanted to provide a meaningful way to teach the community about these. The creation of the garden is timely with the drought."
The Living Green Gardens is open to the public. Once complete, visitors will have the option to walk though it any time.
Wright said the Gardens is a team effort of resources and donations, including from Mt. Diablo Recycling/Contra Costa Waste Services, Delta Blue Grass, Kurapia, EZ. Flo Fertigation, CC Water District, and Rain Bird.
The grand opening will give folks a chance to see it up close, and learn important gardening info.
The hope is the Gardens will inspire folks to "change their landscape and irrigation methods."
Reach Trine Gallegos at

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May 18, 2015


In gratitude for gifts and vision to the Keck Hospital of USC Garden,  Kathy and Adrian Rudnyk, Kiku Kurahashi, Kurapia Inc and Monrovia Nursery were given a reception at the USC Keck Medical Center in Los Angeles on May 18, 2015.

Mary Byrnes, Associate Director, Office of Development to welcome and introduce guests.

Tom Jackiewicz, Senior Vice President and CEO to welcome guest and thank donors.

Kathy and Adrian Dudnyk, Keck grateful patients to speak

Kiku Kurahashi, Senior Designer @ AHBE Landscape Architects
Presently a Partner @ Cao/Perrot Studio

Mark Ohde thanks Kiku and USC.
Gerard Derbonne, Keck Facilities Manager to speak.

Koji, we did it!!

We appreciate to be a part of visionary plans with designers 
and managers who have offered improvements to community 

We are proud that Kurapia is in this great project. 
Thank you, Kiku for selecting Kurapia to your design project 
and of course thank Keck Hospital of USC, Mary, Tom and Gerald, 
for giving us this wonderful opportunity. Thank you.

May 7, 2015