High Desert Gardening at Museum’s Second Saturday

By Staff Reports

(Apple Valley)– When you stroll through the native plant garden behind the Victor Valley Museum building, you are walking through an experiment. The University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) is using this garden to test techniques for gardening that emphasize water conservation. Participants in the next “Second Saturdays” monthly series at the Victor Valley Museum on September 8 will learn how these ongoing discoveries can apply to their own backyard gardens.

Master Gardener Valerie Kimmel-Oliva, who will share her experiences working in the Museum’s garden, is one of a few master gardeners in the High Desert and a graduate of the first California Naturalist program in the region. She is a special education teacher with the Apple Valley Unified School District and her Desert Knoll students have restored and maintained the school garden and outdoor learning lab. She is also active with the Mojave Environmental Educational Consortium (MEEC). The object of her project at the Museum is to help the gardens be school, children, and family friendly.

UCCE will host an information booth geared toward the High Desert with a focus on water conservation, succulents, and High Desert plant information and handouts including desert-friendly seeds. Volunteers from the Mojave Desert and Mountain Recycling Authority’s Green Team will introduce backyard composting, which not only improves soil structure and provides nutrients but also holds water longer in the soil.

The Second Saturdays program runs from 12 to 3 p.m. and is included with museum admission. “Second Saturdays at the Victor Valley Museum” focus on Victor Valley Museum collections and exhibits, with an emphasis on High Desert cultural and natural history. Upcoming Second Saturdays at the Victor Valley Museum will include family art-making activities, rocks and minerals, reptiles, and fossils.

Second Saturdays at the Victor Valley Museum and the County Museum’s other exciting events and exhibits reflect the effort by the Board of Supervisors to achieve the Countywide Vision by celebrating arts, culture, and education in the county, creating quality of life for residents and visitors.”

The Victor Valley Museum is a branch of the San Bernardino County Museum located at 11873 Apple Valley Road in Apple Valley. The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $5 (adult), $4 (senior or military), and $2.50 (student. EBT cardholders are $1. Children under 5 and San Bernardino County Museum Association members are free. Parking is free. For more information, visit www.sbcounty.gov/museum. The museum is accessible to persons with disabilities.

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