Garden may get needed funds

By Reggie Ellis

The City of Woodlake has applied for $200,000 to help improve the botanical garden as well as the highway that runs along side it.

City Planner Greg Collins said the city has filed an application for the money through the Tulare County Association of Governments (TCAG), the governmental body that handles transportation funding throughout Tulare County. Half of the money will be spend on the Bravo Lake Botanical Garden and the other half will be spent on the highway.

The $100,000 for the Bravo Lake Botanical Garden will go toward fencing, lighting, irrigation, signs and a kiosk along the garden’s paved pedestrian path.

During an interview in April, project coordinator Manuel Jiminez, a 25-year farm advisor and research specialist with the University of California Cooperative Extension, said the project still needed about a quarter-mile of 3-inch irrigation line, 3,000 feet of 1-inch irrigation line, 1,500 feet of conduit, and specific varieties of trees and plants that have not been represented in the garden. The project also needs money to pay for solar cellanoids to power the water and solar panels to power lights at the facility because there is no operating budget to continue maintenance on the garden once it has been completed.

The Botanical Garden stretches a quarter of a mile at varying widths between 80-100 feet along Naranjo Boulevard just east of Valencia Avenue. Manuel said eventually the garden will consist of three theme areas to emphasize plant biology, resource conservation, state-of-the-art agricultural technology and local agriculture heritage and history:

Agricultural Science includes a grape vineyard, citrus orchard, serveral decidous fruit orchards, exotic fruit orchard, nut orchard, blackberry and blueberry exhibitions and several annual and pernnial vegetabel crop demonstration ares, There will be 15 varieties of berries and 100 diffetent variteies of citus.

Oranmental Home Gardens includes and aquatic garden, rose garden, herb garden, catus garden, rock garden, etc. This section will seve as an inspirtation for the visitor’s home garden, about what plants grow in the Valley and which share mutually beneficial insects

habitat Consercation includes environmental habitats such as low eleveation chaparral, intermediate evelation oak forest and high elevation coniferous forest. There will also be cotton wheat, barley, oats and other crops that are not commerically grown in the Valley but were native to the Valley.

The project began a little more than six years aog when teh Woodlake Chamber of Commerce recieved a tree grant for city beauification. Manuel and then chamber president Rudy Garcia, decided to form the Woodlake Pride Coalition to plan a beautification project for the community of Woodlake and the surronding area.

For more information call Woodlake Pride, Inc. at 685-3303. Anyone who would ike to be a member of the garden’s oversight organizaiton may send checskt oWOodlake Pride, Linc. 350 Lemoan St., Woodlake, Ca 93286.

The other $100,000 would be used to make curb and gutter imporements as well as prepave Highay 216 east of Highway 245. The money is part of teh Transportation Enhancement Act (TEA) funding that TCAG receives fromt eh fedral government. For information on the meeting, call TCAG at 733-6291.

The Woodlake Ciy Council meets on the second and fouth Monday of the month. Meetings are held at 6:30 council chambers at City Hall, located 350 N. Valencia Blvd. For more information call 564-8055.

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