Understanding Water at Atwater Ave

As everyone should know, water is a big deal in the garden. But where does it come from, and how does it reach us here in our semi-arid LA?

Class this week was all about water – where it comes from, and how humans capture and control it. We talked quite a bit about the water cycle (see hilarious diagram below, please ignore the fact that I went to art school) and why people talk about water so much in Southern California. We’re surrounded by mountains and the ocean, why don’t we have more water?


Students learned not only about evaporation, transpiration, condensation, and precipitation, but also about California’s massive aqueduct system that pipes water in from the north to the south. Every time we turn on the taps, we have water that fell over 350 miles away! That really puts a 20-minute shower in perspective, doesn’t it?

With that in mind, how can we be mindful of water use, both in our garden and at home?


After learning all about where it comes from, our class had a very special treat today – sparkling water! Please use your imagination, as this Ranger forgot to take photos during the snack demo three different times during this lesson. Today, I brought in the pièce de résistance – my sparkling water maker – into class to show students the many delightful ways we can enjoy water without adding sugar, cornstarch, or whatever unpronounceable nonsense goes into soda and juices.
Students got to enjoy sparkling water with mint and lemon juice as they looked around the garden, finding blooms and fruit ready for summer!

I’d be amazed if that strawberry lasts until next week before the squirrels get to it. To be continued!

Until next week,

Ranger Natalie

Natalie Hodson

Natalie is an industrial designer with a passion for sustainability and building. She inherited her mother’s green thumb, and was fascinated with plants from a young age, spending most of her childhood wandering around the woods in Northeastern Ohio. Now, Natalie loves to spend her time wandering around national parks, trying new foods, and building things. She graduated in 2014 from the Rhode Island School of Design and has lived in LA ever since.