The Southern California Soil and Water Hub (SoCal Hub) currently includes the following Resource Conservation Districts but may grow to include others: RCD of Greater San Diego County, Mission RCD, Upper San Luis Rey RCD, Inland Empire RCD, and Coachella Valley RCD. Agriculture in Southern California faces many challenges, particularly around rising costs of water and land, as well as opportunities around developing urban markets. RCDs in the region provide critical conservation assistance helping to ensure that working lands can remain in production instead of conversion to non-irrigated or un-grazed uses or urbanization. Given the region’s shallow topsoil and limited rainfall, regenerative practices are rapidly gaining interest. The region already has a large and growing percentage of small farms and Certified Organic growers. The SoCal Hub serves to coordinate and amplify the efforts of individual RCDs in the region in order to accelerate adoption of soil and water conservation practices. The Carbon Cycle Institute (CCI) and California Association of Resource Conservation Districts (CARCD) are actively supporting Resource Conservation Districts (RCDs) across the state in establishing carbon farming and soil health programs and seven Regional Carbon Farming Hubs, including the SoCal Hub, through training and education, fund development, regional planning, and other capacity building efforts.
- This conservation assessment plan highlighted how carbon farming practices could significantly decrease carbon emissions and increase soil carbon, while providing multiple farm co-benefits for a 3,100-acre ranch operation.
- Carbon Cycle Institute: CCI works to advance carbon cycle solutions: working models of alternative practices, technologies and economic value chains that can produce food, fiber, and flora in ways that improve the environment and are climate- and carbon-beneficial.
- Marin Carbon Project: Seeks to enhance carbon sequestration in rangeland, agricultural, and forest soils through applied research, demonstration and implementation in Marin County.
- We have created a chart to list the plants in the hedgerow at the Tijuana River Valley Community Garden, as well as their bloom period and flower color.
Monarch and Pollinator Conservation:
- Butterfly Farms: Education and conservation organization and nursery all on one site. Come visit their butterfly free flight house and buy pollinator plants for your garden.
- Monarch Joint Venture: A national partnership of federal and state agencies, non-governmental organizations, businesses, and academic programs working together to conserve the monarch butterfly migration.
- Monarch Watch: A wealth of information about monarchs – creating habitat, citizen science, migration, biology, and more.
- The Xerces Society: An organization dedicated to the protection of wildlife through supporting invertebrates. They offer information and resources about issues affecting monarchs and other pollinators and what you can do to help these vital insects.
Native Plant Resources
- California Native Plant Society – San Diego Chapter: An organization dedicated to increasing understanding, appreciation and conservation of California’s fascinating variety of native plants in their natural environment and in horticultural settings. “Gardening with Natives” and “How-To Brochures” links on their website have lots of info on native plants and butterflies.
- Native West Nursery: A wholesale nursery specializing in growing California native plants. The nursery holds public plant sales four times per year.
Milkweed Seed Sowing and Plant Care Instructions:Milkweed Care:
- Our leaflet on how to sow and care for milkweed seeds.
- A quick guide to planting milkweed plants.
Creating Pollinator Habitat:Establishing Pollinator Meadows from Seed:
- A guide from the Xerces Society on how to create your own pollinator meadow.
- Tips from Monarch Joint Venture on attracting monarchs (and other pollinators) to your yard.
- Monarch Waystations: A certification for gardens that provide the resources that monarchs (and other pollinators) need. By registering as a Monarch Waystation, you join a national network of pollinator habitats.
- Check out this easy guide on how to create pollinator habitat in your yard.
Citizen Science Programs:
- Journey North: a country-wide monarch monitoring program. Report your monarch sightings and check out their interactive map of sightings so far this year!
- An overview of monarch citizen science contributions and programs across the United States, including information on how to get involved. (link to document title Monarch citizen science overview)
- RCD Milkweed for Monarchs iNaturalist project: join this project and contribute observations of monarchs in your gardens.
- Collective School Garden Network (CSGN): Information and resources for planning, planting, teaching in, and sustaining a school garden.
- Kids Gardening: Lots of gardening tips, educator resources, and grant sources.
- Life Lab: A wealth of information and resources for creating, sustaining, and teaching in a school garden.
- Master Gardener Association of San Diego: sign up to get a Master Gardener to support your school garden, and find info about grants for school gardens.
- We created this index of resources to connect teachers with classroom activity ideas to follow your watershed education presentation, resources for curriculum support including online video tools, local organizations leading the way to healthy water systems, and a listing of both in and out of the classroom field trip opportunities.
- Watersheds in San Diego County: Learn more about the ten watersheds in the county.
- Preparing for Wildfire: valuable information about what to do before, during, and after a
- Tree & Forest Health: learn more about the beetles infecting trees throughout the county and
what you can do to protect your property.
- Fire & the Environment: resources that discuss the links between wildfire and climate change.
Please visit our YouTube Channel to view a variety of videos highlighting our programs and priorities. New videos are always being uploaded, so check back often.
- This beautiful video produced by the San Diego County Department of Parks and Recreation highlights the Tijuana River Valley Community Garden and the diverse and passionate gardeners who enjoy all it has to offer.
- Monarch Butterfly “Tag-and-Release” Event: North County students and elected officials enjoy a chance to get up close with Monarch Butterflies at this fun and informative event hosted by Butterfly Farms, the RCD, and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
- See our Community Garden from a bird’s eye view! Drone footage of the TRV Community Garden – the largest community garden in the county – gives you a new perspective on its size and layout, including our recent expansion.
- Learn about our High School Conservation Speak-Off competition. This is a great opportunity for high schoolers to practice their public speaking skills and possibly earn up to $550!
- The vision of the Resource Conservation District and Fire Safe Council of San Diego County is to foster a fire safe / fire wise region that has developed through an ongoing course of public education, training, and community collaboration in project support.
- Learn more about the devastating Kuroshio Shot Hole Borer Beetle, in this important interview with our partner, UC Agriculture and Natural Resources Entomologist, Dr. John Kabashima, as he sheds light on how this pervasive beetle is destroying the trees in this beautiful region.
Please take a minute to check out our Partners and learn more about the valuable work they are doing to improve the lives of residents in San Diego County.