John Muir National Historic Site is committed to reducing energy consumption and conserving resources across all departments, not only in the landscape. Upgrading light bulbs and monitoring thermostat settings in buildings has yielded energy savings, and a recently installed real-time energy monitoring system enables the park facility manager to target additional efficiencies.
In 2008, a patch of lawn in front of the visitor center was converted to a California native plant garden to demonstrate the utility, efficiency, and beauty of native perennials and to promote the removal of water inefficient turf. In 2010, the garden was expanded to create a native bunch grass meadow in the narrow strips surrounding the visitor parking area. For most of its irrigation needs John Muir National Historic Site maintains two original, historic water wells and has drawn from this renewable source for many years.
The orchards and grounds at John Muir National Historic Site are generally considered to be working landscapes, where maintenance activities and cultural practices are not necessarily hidden from public view. The composting project is a perfect example of this philosophy. We invite the public to ask questions about the operation in order to highlight the sustainability benefits of keeping green waste on site and returning it to the landscape to improve soil health and plant resiliency.
Questions about John Muir National Historic Site’s composting and grounds maintenance operations or how to join as a volunteer may be addressed to the John Muir National Historic Site.