Upcoming Events

Save Our Shores and Sustainable Del Rey Oaks invite volunteers to participate in a  Wetlands Cleanup Event 

Saturday, September 23 from 9 am to 12 noon. 

This event is part of the 2023 California Coastal Cleanup Day.

Download a printable, shareable flyer

Meet behind Safeway to clean up the wetland in Work Memorial Park.  The wetland creek flows to the coast where we play, fish, and marine life live.

Save Our Shores—Coastal Cleanup Day
W: https://saveourshores.org/coastal-cleanup/
E: coast4u@coastal.ca.gov

Sustainable Del Rey Oaks
Ph: (831) 917-7804
E: sustainabledelreyoakscsmc@gmail.com

Past Events

The Butterfly Garden Comes to Life

In September 2019, SDRO started work on our Butterfly Garden, which is tucked between the Church of the Oaks and the city’s tennis courts, up the hill from the DRO Gardens retail center. The garden is a demonstration project for integrated pest management. We hope to one day use it for school field trips.

The project has involved several stages. First up, we had to clear the quarter-acre plot of weedy vegetation. Then, cardboard was laid down and a huge pile of wood chips distributed, and a water line and spigot were installed.

In the meantime, four free-standing planter boxes were being built by Bill Ragsdale-Cronin and Ken Rutherford. They have since been beautifully decorated by Raven Cook and fellow students at the Youth Arts Collective. After they were placed, a huge pile of soil was delivered, and volunteers filled the boxes, bucketful by bucketful. Now, we could plant!

As of June 2020, the garden is well established, and ongoing work includes weekly watering and weeding as we watch the plants grow and blossom. Most recently, we moved a big pile of dirt and then erected a barn owl box; we hope a pair moves in soon, to help us keep the area rodent-free. We look forward to hosting many butterflies and other pollinators when the monarchs visit this fall.

We have many people and organizations to thank. This project would not have been possible without the generous support of the City of Del Rey Oaks, which kindly allowed us to use the open space and coordinated the donated woodchip deliveries; Monterey Regional Stormwater Management Program (MRSWMP), which provided a grant allowing us to purchase many of the plants; Del Rey Oaks Gardens, which not only donated two dozen ceanothus plants but also is generously providing well water for maintenance; Monterey Regional Waste Management District (the landfill), which donated the owl box; Dan Albro, garden project consultant with Save the Whales; Maris Sidenstecker, President/Co-founder of Save the Whales, who recruited many volunteers from CSUMB for our initial workday; Monterey Bay Master Gardener Jan Fedor; Jeff Condit, MRSWMP manager; Cathy and Tom Rivera of Sustainable Seaside, who donated native pollinator plants and helped to plant; Marla Dean for two packed carloads of cardboard that we used for weed barrier; Gerry Orton for always supplying a much-needed wheelbarrow; Bill Ragsdale-Cronin for the donation of old-growth redwood for the planters; and Mayor Alison Kerr for being a champion of the Butterfly Garden and SDRO. And there would be no garden at all without the hard work of so many volunteers, among them SDRO co-chairs Karen Harris and Kim Shirley, Susan Ragsdale-Cronin, Steven Rayo (also with Save the Whales), Scott Donaldson, Dan Albro, Tom Hughes, Cathy Rivera, Kevin Raskoff, Kim Harris, and Chris Stearns. Ongoing watering maintenance is supplied by Karen Harris, Kim Shirley, KimMarie Hansen, Carol Kaplan, and Anne Canright. Anyone we’ve neglected to acknowledge, please know your participation in the garden has been invaluable and is greatly appreciated!

Earth Day 2021 – On Saturday April 24th we enjoyed a socially distanced gathering in the DRO Butterfly Garden to celebrate Earth Day. We learned about stormwater pollution prevention, the FORTAG project, and worm composting. We picked up trash and went home with tomato seedlings and oak tree vouchers. It was great getting together with neighbors on a beautiful spring morning and sharing ideas for ways to hug our Earth. With special thanks to Kim Shirley, Kevin Raskoff, Karen Harris, Maris Sidenstecker, Dan Albro, Kristi Volmensky, Charlie DeWeese, Scott Donaldson, and Scott Waltz for helping to make the day such a success.

Workshop Series on Rainwater Catchment – On January 30, 2021, SDRO co-sponsored an informative and well-attended workshop on rainwater catchment systems. We hope it will become the first of many such opportunities for more sustainable community involvement. A video recording of the one-hour presentation can be found HERE. 

MLK Parade – January 26, 2020: Sustainable Del Rey Oaks had a wonderful morning marching with Sustainable Seaside at the MLK parade!

Art Auction – December 1, 2019: SDRO hosted a table at the city’s Art Show where visitors were encouraged to make wreaths and wrapping paper out of previously used packing paper, natural leaves, and conifer branches.  

Totebags – October 10, 2019: On World Homeless Day, volunteers stuffed blessing bags, made from recycled T-shirts, with self-care products and delivered them to the Safe Place, a transitional home for at-risk youth in Monterey.

Plastic Picnic – September 21, 2019: At our annual city-wide picnic, we reduced plastic by purchasing real silverware and having a refillable-bottle water station for participants. And of course we had a booth for outreach.

Earth Day – April 28, 2019: SDRO staffed a table at Sustainable Seaside’s Earth Day celebration and enjoyed chatting with many people about the environment and how we can live more softly on the planet.