Backyard conservation parties in full swing |

Backyard conservation parties in full swing

by Andy Bourelle

The Tahoe Resource Conservation District wants you to throw a party.

Maybe not the kind of party you’re thinking of, however.

The district is looking for Lake Tahoe residents who are willing to host backyard conservation “block parties.”

The Backyard Conservation Program at Lake Tahoe stemmed from the 1997 Presidential Summit at Lake Tahoe, and Backyard Conservation Program Coordinator Genah Murphy has been making site visits all summer throughout Lake Tahoe.

She provides information about backyard conservation, offers advice specifically on residents’ yards and gives them seeds of native vegetation.

Now, however, the conservation district has started hosting block parties, bringing in up to 50 people at a time to learn about backyard conservation techniques.

Two block parties have been held, and Murphy hopes to hold more throughout October.

“(At the parties) I talk about conservation in general. I do a presentation and go into a little bit of detail on 10 different conservation techniques,” Murphy said. “I’m also able to point out specific things on the property we’re visiting and suggest how to fix the problems.”

Through backyard conservation, residents can minimize erosion on their property, learn how to incorporate defensible space into their landscaping, better understand the best way to irrigate their plants, learn how to make their yards more inviting to wildlife and more.

Lake Tahoe’s clarity benefits when residents conserve water, feed their plants without harming the lake, improve habitat for wildlife and keep soil from eroding.

“The backyard conservation program is a national program, but we’re the first district in the nation to implement the program,” Murphy said. “So, we’re kind of a nationwide leader.”

The Backyard Conservation Program at Lake Tahoe is operated by the Tahoe Resource Conservation District, through a grant from the California Department of Conservation.

Tahoe’s program started in the spring, and since then the district has provided information to more than 300 Lake Tahoe residents.

Through the fall and winter, conservation officials still will be available for providing information and making site visits. Officials also will be reorganizing the program to improve it for next year.

For additional information, contact Genah Murphy or the Tahoe Resource Conservation District at (530) 541-4318

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