MONTEBELLO – As a school community committed to environmental awareness, teamwork and partnership, Macy Intermediate proudly unveiled its new drought-conscious landscape on Wednesday, Dec. 15. Students and staff, joined by Montebello Unified leaders and representatives from the San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District, cut a ceremonial ribbon to commemorate the completion of the water-efficient project.

“Macy Intermediate illustrates the ways in which Montebello Unified works to develop community partnership that provide opportunities for our students to become responsible citizens,” Board of Education President Benjamin Cárdenas said. “We are very thankful to the San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District for donating resources that not only invest in our students’ education, but in safeguarding of their future.”

By way of a generous $45,000 grant from the water district, the Macy community – including Macy 4-H students, MUSD administrators and staff – helped design and plant the drought-conscious landscape project, which serves to conserve water during California’s severe drought.

The existing school landscape was transformed into a xeriscape design – landscaping and gardening that reduces or eliminates the need for supplemental water from irrigation. The project uses drought-tolerant plant species and California-native plant material that require minimal water for irrigation.

It also incorporates mulch to minimize weeds and promote plant growth, and metered drip irrigation to use less water at each plant.

“The successful completion of this water-conservation project is truly an example of our forward-thinking initiatives at Montebello Unified that ensure a fruitful future for our students,” Superintendent Contreras Smith said. “I commend our school leaders and District staff – as well as our hard-working students – who worked so hard to make this important project beautiful.”

The xeriscape offers students an opportunity to learn about water conservation, including how to use that knowledge on future projects or within the community as drought conditions persist.

Contreras Smith was joined by Principal Jacinto Zavala, San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District Board Member Thomas Wong, Monterey Park Mayor Peter Chan and Councilmember Teresa Real-Sebastian..

Zavala noted that the landscape project was the culmination of a terrific effort that involved many, including his predecessors at the school.

“This wonderful project serves as a reminder to our students and our community of the long-term effects of our actions today. When we work together, we can improve the quality of our lives and our community,” he said.

Photo Captions

Macy Landscape1: Macy Intermediate School 4-H students joined by their principal, Montebello Unified administrators and community in cutting a ceremonial ribbon to commemorate the completion of the school’s new-drought conscious landscape Dec. 15.

Macy Landscape2: Montebello Unified’s Macy Intermediate School 4-H Student Club President Evan Lam, right, and Vice President Carlos Cruz discuss the drought-tolerant Howard McMinn Manzanita evergreen shrub that is newly-planted in the school’s drought-conscious landscape.