Tulare County Parks giving away free mulch

Two Tulare county parks are offering free wood chip mulch to locals to beautify landscapes and cut down on plant water evaporation

VISALIA – Tulare County Parks is offering free wood chip mulch to interested residents and businesses for landscaping purposes, whether it be to beautify landscapes and gardens or reduce water evaporation from high and dry temperatures. The mulch will be available for the taking on Fridays until supplies run out.

The wood chip mulch is available for pick up at Mooney Grove Park and Pixley Park, with multiple piles of the mulch that reach an estimated 15 feet tall. While there is no limit on the amount of wood chip mulch someone can take, the responsibility of collecting and loading falls on the individual. 

Park manager with Tulare County Parks Albert Cendejas said this is a great opportunity for Tulare County residents to take advantage of the free mulch to beautify landscapes and gardens.

“At the same time, residents can be vigilant of the drought that we’re in,” Cendejas said. “It’ll stop some of that evaporation that we don’t really need at this time, we need to conserve as much water as we can.”

People interested in taking advantage should bring their own shovel, containers, wheelbarrows, bags and trucks or other transportation. Those that are interested also need to visit the gate booth at Mooney Grove Park or speak with park staff at Pixley Park to complete a liability waiver for the mulch prior to collecting it.

According to Nancy Hawkins, park advisory committee chair and UC Master Gardener, over the course of three to four years, many park trees in Tulare County have died because of irrigation issues. The parks were able to take any dead or damaged trees and ground them into wood chips. The wood chips are untreated and vary in size.

“Wood chips work just like mulch,” Hawkins said. “Mulch helps conserve water, moderates soil temperature and prevents weed growth.”

According to UC Master Gardeners of Tulare and Kings County, mulch is an excellent resource for regulating soul temperature, improving plant appearance and reducing plant stress. Also, mulch or wood chips are able to reduce irrigation needs by up to 50% by causing less amounts of water to evaporate. Over time, the decomposition helps improve the soil structure. The UC Master Gardeners of Tulare and Kings County recommends three to four inches of wood chip mulch when landscaping. 

More tips and information about wood chips and mulch can be found at https://ucanr.edu/sites/UC_Master_Gardeners/.

The wood chip mulch can be picked up during park hours Fridays at 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. A cash entry fee of $6 is required at Mooney Grove but entrance to Pixley Park is free.

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