I am a native Californian, a descendant in my family’s history here dating back to 1865. When I returned to California after living back East, I was alarmed by the water shortage and the non-native plantings that were causing excessive irrigation practices.
I would like to obtain a degree in sustainable landscape design. I believe that millions of gallons of fresh water can be saved every year with responsible landscape design practices. And this is just in San Diego County.
I have worked for a water management company in Carlsbad for the last 10 years. In my work, I am responsible for assisting landscape architects and engineers in designing with our product. Another one of my duties is helping people understand the product and save the maximum amount of water possible.
I routinely use my education to recommend to architects changes of plantings and irrigation systems which will be more water use sensitive. I work with people everyday in renovating landscapes to incorporate native plantings into their design to use less water and chemicals. The more I learn, and the more experience I gain, the more I have been successful in encouraging conservation. I am proving that appropriate landscape CAN make a difference.
So, Sierra Club, thank you for helping me in my continuing quest. There are a lot of expenses in juggling a job, school, and a teenage daughter still at home. This scholarship will really help ease my mind for this coming semester. I am very touched and honored that I am receiving this scholarship.
Erin Hagen December 2, 2014