AB 606 Requires State Properties to Implement Drought Tolerant Landscaping
Today Governor Brown signed Assembly Bill 606 by Assemblymember Marc Levine (D-Marin County) to reduce water consumption. AB 606 will require state properties to modernize irrigation systems and to implement drought tolerant landscaping, with an emphasis on native plants. This bill was proposed earlier this year by the pupils in Ms. Laura Honda’s fourth grade class at Manor Elementary School in Fairfax, CA.
“I am inspired by these students’ commitment to environmental protection,” said Levine. “It was my honor to carry this bill for the students at Manor Elementary. This bill is a great example of civic engagement by young Californians. These students helped this bill become law and I am proud of their participation in their government.”
“My class wrote AB 606 because we want to help the earth. We can help the earth by using less water,” said Manor Elementary fourth grader Damian. “The drought is hard on people, animals and plants. Native plants are adapted to our California climate so they don’t need much water.”
“I want my students to understand the importance of conserving energy and water for wildlife. These things go hand in hand,” said Laura Honda, teacher at Manor Elementary.
Laura Honda’s 4th grade class came to the State Capitol on October 22, 2014. There were 20 fourth graders that toured the Capitol, spoke with staff, and had a private tour of Governor Brown’s office. Assemblymember Levine’s staff talked with them about the importance of civic engagement and governance. The students were very interested and passionate about protecting the environment. Subsequently, Assemblymember Levine’s office and Ms. Honda’s students worked together in developing AB 606 and moving it through the Legislature.
Additional Quotes From Students Are Attached
Assemblymember Levine represents the 10th Assembly District, which includes Marin County and Sonoma Counties.
I teach my fourth graders about conserving water and energy, about the importance of native plants, about the needs of birds and bees and about Humane Heroes like Lady Bird Johnson. I want my students to understand the importance of conserving energy and water and gardening for wildlife. These things go hand in hand. If we create gardens with native plants, we save water because our California native plants are mostly drought tolerant. If we conserve water, we are conserving energy because the biggest use of energy in our county of Marin is piping water to our homes and businesses. If we plant native plants we are providing habitat for our wildlife including pollinators. The added benefit of this type of landscape is bringing beauty for all who will take notice. My students and I are inspired by Lady Bird Johnson’s beautification campaign and we want to help make her vision continue in California.
I am proud that my class wrote AB 606 about saving water and planting native plants. We have been learning about being water wise, energy efficient and about native plants. I think it is important to save water because all animals and plants need water. It is especially important to save water now because we are in a drought. If we don’t save water everything will die. Less than 1% of the world’s water is fresh drinking water for all living things. So we need to plant more native plants and save more energy and water. -Austin
Native plants are adapted to our California climate so they don’t need much water. Native plants are good for native animals. The drought is hard on people, animals and plants. We can help the earth by using less water. My class wrote AB 606 because we want to help the earth. -Damian.
I support AB 606 because I think it is important. I want to plant native plants like poppies and elderberry because birds and bees like them. I want bees because they are important. -Hadia
I support AB 606 because we should plant native plants that do not need so much water and bees like them. -Emilio
I support AB 606 because I want to make the world a more beautiful native place like Lady Bird Johnson did. I want lots of native flowers for bees and birds. Native plants are adapted to the dry climate of California. -Zola
I think it is important to have flowers that bees can pollinate so that the circle of life continues. I want the world to look pretty. -Julia
I support AB 606 because we must plant native plants like lupine, poppies and toyon. These plants help pollinators and give food to native animals. We should never plant non-native invasive plants like ivy, broom or Bermuda grass because they don't offer anything to wildlife. -Jaden
I support AB 606 because many of our native plants are endangered. I want the fields covered in beautiful blooming native wildflowers. We need beautiful native plants instead of broom, ivy and oleander. If we plant native plants we save water which saves energy! -Andrew
CONTACT: Michael Miiller, (916) 319-2010 or (916) 204-0485