CARPINTERIA — Donna Grubisic, a Carpinteria resident, has won this year’s grand prize in the Santa Barbara County’s WaterWise Garden Recognition Contest.
The contest was launched this spring to recognize beautiful, water efficient gardens across the county. The Santa Barbara County Water Agency, as well as the City of Santa Barbara, Montecito Water District, Carpinteria Valley Water District, and Vandenberg Village Community Services District chose one winner from each provider’s service area to win an agency award for their participation.
One grand winner of the contest was also chosen, and the county decided on Ms. Grubisic’s pollinator garden in Carpinteria.
According to a news release, Ms. Grubisic transformed her lawn and a garden into a “retreat for pollinators” during a drought in the 1990’s. The garden is water efficient and has no irrigation system — instead, it uses rainwater captured in 300-gallon cisterns attached to the side of her home.
Other grand prize finalists and regional winners were George Hopwood and Joseph Navarro of Santa Barbara, Susan and Howard Silver of Montecito, and Colleen Newkirk of Vandenberg Village.
“These home gardens demonstrate that water-wise, sustainable landscapes can be lush and colorful, low maintenance, and provide habitat for pollinators and other wildlife,” county officials wrote in a news release. “Many winners replaced their original lawns and now enjoy the added benefit of a lower water bill.”
To see photos of each winning garden, visit waterwisesb.org/gardencontest.
— Madison Hirneisen