Life was brought to a piece of land next to Marina High School after the Huntington Beach Public Works Department revamped it to showcase environmentally friendly features.
Landscaping and hardscaping on the 10,000-square-foot lot at the corner of Edinger Avenue and Springdale Street south of Marina had been abandoned since 2001 until it was completed earlier this month, said Huntington Beach Principal Civil Engineer Todd Broussard.
Revamping the piece of land, which was home to an old water well, cost $132,000.
"We've taken some measures that we normally wouldn't take to make it green," Broussard said. "We're trying to make our projects green."
The land is now decorated with iceberg roses, daylilies, rosemary and sundowners that are all drought-, pest- and disease-resistant, according to a city report.
But that's not all.
The city built a rain gauge into the solar irrigation controller in order to reduce water usage. Once established, the king and windmill palms that were installed will require a small amount of water, much like the drought-resistant plants and shrubs, according to the report.
Colored concrete was also installed in a 1,100-square-foot section of the land to allow runoff into the soil. A gravel strip was installed at the lowest point of the landscape to capture runoff water and contain it within the same area to minimize irrigation needs, the report said.
The city also installed engineered wood fiber to reduce water evaporation, provide nutrients into the landscape, control soil temperature and stop weed development to reduce maintenance by city workers, according to the report.
Broussard said the project was a collaboration between the maintenance and engineering departments.
"Besides all of the benefits of water and power conservation incorporated, the small size of the project will allow the city to monitor some of these features at a minimal relative cost for potential use in future and larger projects," he said.