The Grove Street Fire Safe Council, a tax-exempt Sonoma Valley organization dedicated to mitigating wildfire risk, will co-sponsor an online workshop later this month on how to create landscapes that are beautiful, sustainable and fire-smart.
The free workshop, featuring a panel of experts and a Q&A session, is Saturday, July 25 from 10 a.m. to noon. Early sign-ups are encouraged as registration is limited to 100 participants.
The workshop’s three panelists will discuss tried-and-true methods for creating fire-wise landscapes that support biodiversity while meeting Sonoma County’s defensible space requirements. Different defensible space zones—set at 0-5 feet, 5-30 feet and 30-100 feet from a home or other structure—are best approached with specific plants and landscape designs in mind.
As noted by panelist Ellie Insley, a landscape architect, natural habitat restoration specialist and board member of the Sonoma Ecology Center, “Proper selection, placement and maintenance of plants can lead to beautiful landscapes that foster habitat for wildlife and reduce fire risk at the same time. We’ve learned how to do this, and want to share that knowledge with the Sonoma Valley community.”
The other two workshop panelists are Mimi Enright, program manager of the UC Master Gardener Program of Sonoma County, and April Owens, executive director of Habitat Corridor Project and chair of the Milo Baker Chapter of the California Native Plant Society.