PCWA Partners with Local Scouts to Transform Fire Station Lawn by Ross Branch Aug 19, 2019 Member Submitted News Placer County Water Agency (PCWA) is partnering with two Eagle Scout candidates and the Auburn Fire Department to makeover the thirsty turf at Auburn’s Maidu Fire Station into a fire-resistant, water-wise landscape. Spearheaded by 14-year-old Cody Hansen and 13-year-old David Hurren of Rocklin, the project will transform the fire station’s expansive swath of lawn along Auburn Folsom Road with more than 100 fire-and water-wise flowers, plants and shrubs and state-of-the-art irrigation. The project is part of Cody’s and David’s application to earn the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scouts of America. “Fire is a danger that we are all familiar with,” said Matt Young, PCWA Director of Customer Services. “The exciting aspect of this project is the community support and involvement to showcase a fire-resistant landscape while refreshing a small corner of Placer County.” A fire-resistant landscape features plants less likely to catch fire placed in ways to resist the spread of fire to a home. “Water wise and fire wise go hand in hand,” said Jeff Ambrosia of Yamasaki Landscape Architecture in Auburn, which is donating the landscape design plan. “Low-water use plant material has the same characteristics as fire-resistant material, with foliage and leaves that are smaller and don’t create a lot of fuel for a fire—as long as they are properly maintained, pruned and watered.” The garden also will feature state-of-the art drip irrigation and a WaterSense-labeled weather-based sprinkler timer. The drip irrigation, placed below the soil surface in a grid pattern, will deliver water at the root zone with zero evaporation. The sprinkler timer will use local weather conditions to deliver just the right amount of water plants need to be healthy. “Auburn Fire is not only excited to upgrade our lawn to something more water-wise, but we love the fire-wise component,” said Battalion Chief Rob Zaucha. “We believe this improved landscape can demonstrate to the community that defensible space does not mean absence of vegetation around their homes, but, rather, strategic vegetation.” The project is ambitious and will require countless hours to secure and manage donations of materials and volunteers. Several businesses have already stepped in to offer their services and products. In addition to Yamasaki Landscape Architecture (landscape plan), donors include Mid-City Nursery and Village Nurseries (plants); Hunter Industries (irrigation system and controller) and BrightView Landscape (irrigation installation). Over the next several months, Cody and David will continue their work to secure donations of materials and volunteers to help install plants and spread mulch. The existing lawn and plants will be removed in August and September, followed by installation of plants, the irrigation system and mulch in October. The entire project is expected to be completed by November. “This project provides an opportunity to show the community how to create a fire-wise and water-wise landscape that hopefully people can do at their own homes,” Hanson said. Huron added, “I’m excited to be a part this community project that will be here for years to come.” For more information about the fire station landscape makeover, including the landscape plan, plant list and details about volunteering, please visit pcwa.net.