Sat07042015

College goes to top of the class for saving water


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Students in Dan Svenson’s Landscape Design Irrigation class at Foothill College examine nursery plants that can benefit from the horticulture department’s award-winning rain catchment systems.

In a time of crippling drought, Foothill College is earning props for some impressive water-saving projects conservationists hope that institutions, businesses and homeowners alike can learn from.

The Silicon Valley Water Conservation Awards coalition recognized the college’s environmental horticulture program March 23 as its 2015 organization category winner. The program’s cooling tower recapture system, rainwater catchment systems and recirculating water feature beat out eight other applicants in the category.

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Time is right to shine light on solar power

Solar proponents have highlighted the benefits of going solar for years. So why is now a better time than ever? Following are four key reasons.

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GreenTown advice: Lawn be gone during drought

Outdoor watering accounts for 50-75 percent of all water use, according to the California Public Utilities Commission.

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Activities planned in Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mtn. View


Town Crier file photo
The Wild Cat Education and Conservation Fund’s “Live Wild Cats” show is a staple of the Los Altos Hills Earth Day Celebration, attracting large audiences each year.

Local residents seeking ways to celebrate Earth Day, April 22, need not look far – events are scheduled next week in Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View.

Details on three local Earth Day events follow.

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Evolving with regulations, Los Altos' school lunch programs retain local ties


Courtesy of USDA
Federal and state mandates require that school districts load school lunches with fruits, vegetables and whole grains. But the salad bars added to modern school cafeterias, above, don’t exist in the Los Altos School District, which is cafeteria-free for elementary and middle schools.

The landscape of school lunches has shifted across Los Altos in recent years, as the parent-run, all-volunteer lunch program has had to professionalize from an organized restaurant delivery service to a catered, federally compliant nutritional edifice.

The rules continue to change – this year pastas and pizza dough must qualify as “whole grain” as the school district works with vendors to assure compliance with federal and state guidelines.

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