The very foundation of Shipley Nature Center is native plants and water conservation. Native plants cover the 18 acres and show what California was like a hundred years ago before all of the homes were built with a tropical landscapes. Native plants are extremely valuable since they require less water than those you find in many yards in the area. We try to teach our visitors the importance of native plants, especially in a period of drought when water is such a scarce resource. Gardens have been planted near the Interpretive Center to show what natives are available and how they can be used in a landscape. We also have a nursery where native plants are cultivated by our volunteers and then offered for sale in our nursery. The Master Gardeners also do presentations to the public on how to use natives in their personal gardens. These lectures are held on Saturday mornings and for a schedule of these presentations, please call the Shipley office 714-842-4772.
Shipley Nature Center offers two examples of water conservation suitable for use in an urban home. The man-made stream located in the Demonstration Garden sits atop a 4,000 gallon cistern buried underground. Rainwater is harvested from the roof of the building and channelled into the storage tank. It is pumped from the tank to the top of the stream providing aeration for the water. It is a lovely design feature which provides a continual water source for the birds and animals of Shipley.
Angel Stream The rainwater harvest system that looks like a bird pond from the top, but is actually a 4,000-gallon cistern underneath the surface that stores rainwater for the birds and other wildlife that visit.
Rainwater H2OGs, is the other rainwater harvester located on the north side of the restroom building. It collects rainwater from the roof in storage tanks which are connected to hoses for use in the gardens. Both systems may be installed for home use to capture rainwater which would otherwise be wasted.
For more information about water saving methods and how to purchase rain barrels, you may visit the Water Conservation section of City of Huntington Beach’s website.