By Liz Block
Weater Conservation Coordinator, Tehachapi Cummings County Water District 

Get some life into your life

Water Matters


Here at Tehachapi-Cummings County Water District (TCCWD), we’ve been very actively promoting the State Department of Water Resources Turf Replacement Rebate Program (up to $2000) and providing assistance to help residents through the process. Assistance can be through a free Landscape Consultation at your home, just call for an appointment. And starting July 28, we will offer a free four-part workshop to guide you through the re-landscaping process (see our ad below for location and other information).

While removing your lawn and replacing it with a low water landscape will save water for years to come, there’s another equally important benefit. It is the spiritual value of connecting with life.

I was driving through a residential area the other day and passed a home where I had done a Landscape Consultation. The owner had completed the landscape and it really turned out well. I had to stop. We surveyed the new landscape, and I turned to her. She had the most beautiful smile on her face. She was excited about her new plants! She was connected to her landscape in a whole new way, a deeper way.

They coined a term for it – Biophilia, literally the love of life. In the theory of multiple types of intelligence, one type is Naturalistic Intelligence. We all have it, to a greater or lesser degree, courtesy of our ancestors who had to be connected to the natural world to survive. In our urbanized society, the need to connect with life is too often stunted and devalued. But how many of us have pets, houseplants, nature artwork, or watch nature documentaries and spend the day at the lake?

There is an oft cited study that demonstrates the power of our connection

with life. A group of patients had the exact same invasive gall bladder surgery, but half recovered in a room where the window looked out on a brick wall, and the other half had a window that looked out on trees and landscape. The patients with the living view recovered quicker, needed less pain medication, and generally had a better attitude throughout their recovery.

Contact with nature, even the view out a window, decreases stress and increases creativity, sociability, and productivity. Just think about our local library program, Barks and Books, where youngsters read to a dog. Biophilia in action. Even natural daylight helps. Another study showed that students learned better in a classroom with natural compared to artificial light.

All water savings aside, imagine what might happen when you’ve dug in the soil, felt its texture, nestled plant roots into a hole, tucked mulch around its stem, watered it and wished for it to thrive. How will you feel when the plant you selected and nurtured starts to flower? Think of the thrill when a butterfly comes to sip its nectar!

Take a walk on the wild side – in the comfort of your own yard!


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