Monthly Archives: May 2007

Time to get “xerious” about the drought

Chatham and surrounding counties are suffering from extreme drought conditions, which are defined “as those expected once in 50 years.” Not just Savannah, but the whole state is subject to a “level-2 outdoor water-use schedule,” under which watering is allowed from midnight to 10 a.m. on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays at odd-number street addresses and on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays at even-number addresses. It’s banned all day on Fridays. Some local governments in Georgia are considering complete outdoor watering bans.

Nonetheless, a stroll around just about any Savannah neigborhood will reveal plenty evidence that residents are apparently unaware or unimpressed by the outdoor watering ban. Last year in at least one North Georgia county, violators were threatened with $1,000 fines, jail time and water service disconnection. Without a clear enforcement mechanism or sanctions here in Savannah, watering schedule compliance is pretty much voluntary.

But there is a better way for folks who don’t want to be sprinkler scofflaws: Xeriscaping. Landscaping with plants that do not require supplemental irrigation frees gardeners from the agonizing choice between watching their plants shrivel and breaking the law.

The Xeriscape Demonstration Garden at The Bamboo Farm and Coastal Gardens here in Savannah is a great place to learn about drought resistant plants and how to deploy them in a garden. While the term “drought-resistant” may conjure up visions of cacti, there are more than 50 species on the Bamboo Farm’s xeriscape plant list, and I don’t think any of them have spines.

US Drought Monitor Map of Georgia

Green communities: A how to guide

Treehugger.com, the self-proclaimed “leading media outlet dedicated to driving sustainability mainstream,” has just posted a guide called “How to Green Your Community.” Amoung the top 10 tips for “highly effective ways to go greener” are buying locally and reducing automobile trips. Which of the other suggestions could gain traction here in Savannah?

Comment period begins for Draft SAFETEA-LU Revisions and FY 2008-2011 Transportation Improvement Program

Via the Metropolitan Planning Commission:

The MPO’s Draft SAFETEA-LU Revisions to the 2030 Long Range Transportation Plan and Draft FY 2008-2011 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) are now available for review and comments. Copies of the draft documents are located at all Live Oak Public Libraries and university libraries in Chatham County, the Chatham County-Savannah Metropolitan Planning Commission (MPC) offices, other public review agencies’ offices as well as at the MPC website. Updates to the draft documents will be posted at the website. Revised copies with incorporated comments received will be sent to you at the June MPO/Committee mailing time.

The comment period for the draft documents starts on May 23, 2007 and written comments will be accepted no later than the close of business on June 26, 2007. Please send you comments to me via email, via the MPC website, or via regular mail.

We will host two public hearings in conjunction with the June 2007 CUTS/MPO Citizens Advisory Committee and the CUTS/MPO Policy Committee to answer questions and accept comments. Meeting times and locations are listed below, so please mark your calendar.

Citizens Advisory Committee Meeting, Thursday, June 21, 2007, 5:00 PM , MPC Arthur A. Mendonsa Hearing Room

Policy Committee Meeting, Wednesday, June 27, 10:00 AM, MPC Arthur A. Mendonsa Hearing Room

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

Thanks.

Sincerely

Zhongze (Wykoda) Wang
Transportation Planner
Chatham County – Savannah Metropolitan Planning Commission
P. O. Box 8246, 110 East State Street
Savannah, GA 31412-8246
Phone: (912) – 651-1452
Fax: (912) – 651- 1480
Email: wangw [at] thempc [dot] org