Giving Back: El Camino Homeless Organization (ECHO)

Giving Back: El Camino Homeless Organization (ECHO)

Who knew stewardship felt so good?

No matter where you live, you make an impact. For communities to function well over time, conscious efforts must be made by many to contribute to the positive impact toward the development of that community, or else who will?  That is stewardship. We recognize this at Madrone Landscapes, and try to do our part.  http://madronelandscapes.com/about-us/stewardship/.

One recent effort that Madrone participated in was the design and installation of a low-impact landscape at El Camino Homeless Organization(ECHO). ECHO is a non-profit organization with a 50-bed transitional shelter helping families and individuals find permanent housing within three months of entering the facility. The organization is located on the Central Coast of California serving North San Luis Obispo County, and you can read more about their efforts here.

Working with ECHO’s Board of Directors, Madrone came together with community volunteers and students from California State Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo. The Madrone team and volunteers installed shade trees, screening, and a drought tolerant, native plant pallet. A quarter acre of fruit trees including apples, peaches, plums and figs were planted and a raised vegetable garden was also installed to make the most of what the facility has to offer.

Over two weekends of fun and hard work, Madrone’s general manager, Daniel Mazawa, led the charge with the help of Cal Poly professor Christie O’Hara and Rainscape manager, Victor Rocha, as 60 volunteers transformed the space into an aesthetically pleasing and functional landscape. Prior to the planting and mulching, Madrone’s build team graded the area, installed the irrigation and assembled all the needed materials. Local businesses donated irrigation parts, soil amendments and mulches. A little bit of conscious stewardship can make a big difference, and the benefits  of this project will “ECHO” for years to come.  The smiles say it all!

5 Landscape Design Tips for California Central Coast Tasting Rooms – Blog Series Part 3

5 Landscape Design Tips for California Central Coast Tasting Rooms – Blog Series Part 3

Here is the third of five tips to help build outdoor environments and experiences to positively impact your tasting room!

#3: Take Advantage of Your Site

 

Views: Vineyard architecture and vineyard landscapes often take advantage of the natural and agricultural surroundings. Damian Grindley (Brecon Estate) believes there is an intriguing contrast between the native California landscape and the “engineered lines” created by the vines in a vineyard. This look is so iconic that most vineyards will highlight sweeping views of vines and rolling native hills at their tasting room. When you have stunning views on your site, you can “borrow” them by using minimal landscape elements in front of the best vistas, or use trees to “frame” the view. These are great ways to maximize your landscape budget, since views of vines and hills can do much more for you than almost any landscape element.

(Photo by Valerie Imhof – Brecon Estate Wines, Vineyard View)

 

Shade: Most visitors come to wineries in the summertime, and shade is very important here on the central coast of California. Trees, pergolas, and umbrellas provide cozy, snug areas for people to relax and enjoy the warm weather in a nature’s lounge room. If there are existing large trees, use them to create a natural comfortable area that people will gravitate towards.

(Photo by Megan Savage – Epoch Winery, Tasting Room)

 

 

 

 

Architecture: Often the vineyard architecture is already defined by the theme, so it is important to blend with the architecture of the building as much as the surroundings. Compliment the style with use of hardscape and planting to make the building more impressive. Some tasting room architecture will try and blend into the California landscape, and the landscape design should also focus on the surroundings. Some tasting rooms will be a monument standing out from nature, so the landscape design must emphasize the awe of the architectural form, while transitioning to the surroundings.

(Photo by Valerie Imhof – Law Estate Wines, Tasting Room)

 

 

Missed a section? Here are parts 1 and 2!

Part 1: Be Unique & Memorable

Part 2: Make it Feel Special

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