May 2012 Newsletter header
In This Issue
Water Awareness and Spring Gathering
Welcome to Vina Lustado
Stewardship Opportunities

Quick Links


Join Ojai Valley Green Coalition Now


Ojai Valley Green Coalition Website


April OVGC E-News


April Food News




Thursday, May 10

Watershed Council Meeting


Friday, May 11

Spring Potluck & Program


Saturday, May 12

Creek Steward Day


May 11 & 12

Birds of the Ojai Valley


Wednesday, May 16

Food Talk with Dulanie Ellis


Friday, May 18

Work in the Garden


Sunday, May 20

Plants and Birds of Streamside Habitats


Wednesday, May 30

Built Environment Council Meeting



HUD and EPA taking a step in the right direction


Healthy Home Brochure 


Healthy Home Checklist 


If you need help telling the truly green from the truly full of it (aka greenwashing)


Subscribe to The Green Life for free.


Mother's Day
is May 13!


Mothers Day10 Waste-Free (and Free) Ways to Celebrate Mom 


Help Wanted!


Website Maintenance

½ to 1 hour per week, volunteer position


Resource Center Hosts

2.5 hour shifts, volunteer position


Summer Mini-Film Planning Group Forming

Now thru July, time to be determined, volunteer position


Energy Efficiency Initiative Outreach Coordinator

Staffed - thanks Shawn (and Skip)!


Online Poster

Staffed - thanks Victoria!


Please email for more information.


Click below to follow the Coalition on Facebook and Twitter!



We're on the List!

Ojai Community Bank's Charitable Giving list, that is. For every new account opened, the bank gives $25 to a local charity. This program supports the community directly and immediately, allowing bank customers to choose their favorite from a list of nonprofit organizations. Here's a way to support our community bank, our local economy, and the Coalition without spending a dime!


Board of Directors

Caryn Bosson
Noel Douglas
Dale Hanson
Marleen Luckman
Vina Lustado
Kerry Miller
Kathy Nolan
Tyler Suchman
Sabrina Venskus
David White

Donate Now

Ojai Valley Green Coalition
327 East Ojai Avenue   
Ojai, CA   93023     
(805) 669-8445

This e-newsletter is produced by the Communications & Publicity Committee
Advancing a green, sustainable, and resilient Ojai Valley

May is Water Awareness Month and
Our Spring Community Gathering


Please join Coalition and community members for a spring time gathering on Friday, May 11. Mingle with neighbors, share a potluck supper and celebrate Water Awareness Month with the evening's program focused on "How a Resilient Watershed Faces Drought: the Ventura River Story."


Ventura County Watershed Map Local experts will explain how the Ventura River watershed acts and reacts to drought periods, while giving practical steps each of us can take to save water and make our watershed more resilient. As Coalition watershed council chair Bill O' Brien shares, "There will be drought cycles here in the Ventura River; it is just a question of when. The recent March and April showers masked one of the driest winters on record. During the course of our program, we will ask how well will we do when the next drought hits our valley. What measures have been and can be taken to make our watershed more resilient when the drought finds us? Participants will learn the history of droughts in the Ventura River, ways for agencies and individuals to conserve and keep water higher in the watershed, the potential for recycled and grey water, and how education can help us all weather the next drought."


For May Water Awareness Month there are many ways to learn about the Ventura River watershed and water conservation efforts - click here to see a calendar and listing of local events and activities.


Hosted at the Chaparral Auditorium, 414 E. Ojai Ave., glowing jacket

the evening will begin with a meet and greet from 6:30 to 7:00 p.m., food sharing from 7:00 to 7:45 p.m., followed by the program and topped off with a drawing for a down jacket compliments of Patagonia. You must be present to win. There will also be information tables to learn about many of the Coalition's activities. Come share and celebrate our spring's bounty with your favorite salad, entrée, or dessert featuring seasonal, local and organic ingredients. To reduce our landfill waste, please bring your own table service (plate, silverware, mug, and cloth napkin). To RSVP (this helps us be prepared) or for more information please email or call (805) 669-8445.


Ecotourism: What Would That
Look Like for the Ojai Valley?


Ecotourism is defined by the World Conservation Union as "Environmentally responsible travel to natural areas, in order to enjoy and appreciate nature (and accompanying cultural features, both past and present) that promote conservation, have a low visitor impact and provide for beneficially active socio-economic involvement of local peoples."


Ecotourism waterfallIn April an interactive forum at Meditation Mount in Ojai allowed an in-depth exploration of possibilities for bringing together Ojai's unique assets for Ecotourism. Led off by keynote speakers Ventura County Supervisor Steve Bennett and California 35th District Assembly member Das Williams, the weekend was well attended with panelist and attendees participating in discussions about sustaining our environment, economy and community through an Ecotourism Initiative. Out of the forum came individuals and organizations ready to move an initiative forward for the Ojai Valley, with the Coalition serving as the umbrella organization.


To find out more come to the next general meeting at the Meditation Mount conference center Monday, May 7th from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Additional meetings will be scheduled, so please check back at or add your email address to the contact mailing list.


An OVGC Welcome to Vina Lustado


Vina Lustado The Ojai Valley Green Coalition operates throughout the Ojai Valley because of the tireless efforts of a long list of volunteers. In April we were pleased to welcome architect Vina Lustado further into the fold as our newest board member. She has been working on the built environment council and helping as a volunteer with various events since early 2010.


Vina comes to us with a background in sustainability and is the founder of Sol Haus Design, an architectural design firm specializing in sustainable building. Vina holds a degree in architecture from USC and comes with 20 years of experience with firms in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago.


"I value the concept of simplicity in design and try to lead a lifestyle in line with that belief," says Vina, who having spent her childhood in the Philippines, learned that simple lifestyle in a household with nine brothers and sisters.


Vina treasured that simplicity even after she immigrated to the United States at age 7 and her family "settled in the urban sprawl of L.A." "As an immigrant, I've lived in many different places but I never found a place I could call 'home'." That is until she found herself in Ojai.


Read Vina's full story here.


This Land is Your Land,
This Land is Our Land

Stewardship Opportunities


Saturday, May 12


The Ojai Creek used to be home to year-round populations of rainbow trout, so prevalent that early travelers could catch their own supper in what is now Libbey Park. Water coursed through the creek between stands of native oaks, sycamores and black walnut trees. Toyon, blue elderberry, California blackberry, and holly leaf cherries covered the banks, providing food for a wide variety of birds and other wildlife.


Creek RestorationCan we restore those pristine natural conditions? We certainly have been trying since 2009. Most recently, the Coalition has spearheaded recruitment of volunteers to assist the creek restoration work in Libbey Park being led by the C.R.E.W.. Please join us on our final Spring work day, on Saturday, May 12, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. We will be removing invasive non-native plants and reestablishing native habitat.


A hat is highly recommended, as are long pants and closed-toed shoes or boots. The Coalition will provide work gloves, tools, water and snacks, but bringing your own gloves and digging tool is appreciated.


Parking is available at the lower Libbey parking lot off of S. Montgomery Street. To check in follow the signs to the work site near the old jailhouse building in lower Libbey Park (between the bike path and the park's lower tennis courts). Those under the age of 18 will need a liability release waiver signed by a parent or guardian. For more information or to obtain waivers ahead of time please email or call (805) 669-8445.


Friday, May 18


Community Garden logoWe have an anniversary! On May 5, 2011 the Coalition adopted the now called Ojai Valley of the Moon Community Garden as a pilot project under the Food Council. The Garden is an organic garden established on one-acre of land at the Help of Ojai West Campus on Baldwin Road. Under the incredibly hard work and dedication of founder and project leader, Robin Graham and her team members, the garden is thriving and now boasts being an approved master gardener training site. Ventura County master gardeners and other community members are also growing food in plots specifically for the Help of Ojai senior lunch program, and have recently started harvesting!


Please come and see the garden and help make improvements in the common areas of the Garden, Friday, May 18 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Help of Ojai West Campus is located at 370 Baldwin Rd. (Highway 150). Once inside the gate, follow the signs to Ojai Valley Land Conservancy. You will need to bring your own work gloves, snacks, and plenty of water.


Current garden members are now planting their spring crops, but the Garden is as much about community as it is about gardening with every gardener working toward a common goal and enjoying the process of creating something that feeds their body, mind, and spirit. For more information about joining the Community Garden or upcoming work day, contact Lyz Merola at (973) 224-7113 or Robin via email or at (805) 640-0569.


Download a Printable Version of This Form
2012 Membership Form