63rd Readiness Division Energy Manager Honored for Service

Rickey Johns, Energy Manager at the United States Army Reserve’s 63rd Readiness Division, received a special commendation from Mr. Robert Maxwell, Army Reserve Chief Financial Officer and Director of Resource Management and Materiel, for his storied career.

Johns has been an asset to the Army for most of his life. After 43 years, he retired as a Chief Warrant Officer 4 from the Arkansas National Guard. He served as the Arkansas National Guard’s Facility Management Branch Chief and the state Energy Manager for 23 years. Johns joined the 63rd Readiness Division’s energy team in the fall of 2012.

Maxwell lauded Johns for his innovative approach to energy and water management. Johns and his team have pursued initiatives such as a Building Energy Monitor Program; a Division-wide energy education and awareness campaign; an Enterprise Building Control System; and a phase change material pilot project. In 2016, the Division received a Secretary of the Army Award for Energy Efficiency and Energy Management, Small Group.

Maxwell said, “[Johns’] dynamic, positive and personable demeanor as the 63rd Readiness Division Energy Manager resulted in countless partnerships, having significant impacts in the areas of energy and water security.”

Johns has been an integral component of the Army Reserve, emerging as a leader in energy security across the federal government. His untiring work ethic and dedication to excellence have measurably contributed to the overall success of the Army Reserve Installation Management Directorate mission, and his example of selfless service to our Nation is worthy of emulation.

Army Reserve Hosts Annual Workshop for Energy and Water Professionals

At the Huntington Convention Center on the banks of beautiful Lake Erie, professionals from across the country gathered for the United States Army Reserve Energy and Water Manager Training Workshop.

The Army Reserve Installation Management Directorate (ARIMD) presented the workshop in conjunction with the United States Department of Energy’s 2018 Energy Exchange in Cleveland, Ohio in late August.

Paul Wirt, Chief of the Facility Policy Division of ARIMD, opened the workshop with remarks about the Army Reserve’s contributions to Army-wide energy and water resilience. He honored the Army Reserve’s newly minted Certified Energy Managers, as well as two award winners. Greg Vallery, Director of Public Works at Fort Hunter Liggett, received the Secretary of the Army Energy and Water Management Award for Individual Exceptional Performance. Rickey Johns, Energy Manager at the 63rd Readiness Division, received a special commendation from Robert Maxwell, Army Reserve Chief Financial Officer and Director of Resource Management and Materiel, for his dedicated service to the energy program.

Judith Hudson, Chief of the Facility Policy Division at the Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management, then addressed the attendees. She inspired them to view their energy and water initiatives through a “lens of resilience.” “Ask yourself: what are your critical missions, and how can you support them through the activities that you are doing in energy and water?” she said. She alluded to the Army’s need to be ready in the face of natural disasters. “When the hurricane hits, how you are going to enable your Soldiers to complete their missions?” she asked, stressing the importance of assured access to energy. Hudson also urged the teams to “challenge assumptions,” so they are constantly aware of potential impediments to energy and water security and solutions to those concerns.

In the following briefings, several energy and water professionals from ARIMD and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory discussed topics such as the Energy Resilience and Conservation Investment Program; Energy Savings Performance Contracts; the Enterprise Building Control System; and the Resource Efficiency Manager Program. Anibal Negron, Energy Manager at Fort Buchanan, offered a presentation on the state of his Installation’s energy and water projects in the wake of Hurricane Maria, which devastated the Caribbean island in the fall of 2017.
Representatives from Installations and Readiness Divisions also participated in breakout groups, where they discussed their visions for a resilient Army Reserve.

Wirt closed the workshop with some words of encouragement, reminding the teams that the Army has lauded the Army Reserve’s energy and water programs as some of the most robust in the Department of Defense, the federal government and even the nation. “Go out and continue to leverage partnerships with your colleagues in the field … with utility service providers … with the national labs … with the Corps of Engineers,” he said. “Seek opportunities to conserve … to improve … to secure our energy resources. You have the power. Let’s work toward resilience now, so we can continue to be the most outstanding energy and water program – and the most outstanding fighting force – in the Department of Defense.”

63RD, 88TH READINESS DIVISIONS UP FOR FEDERAL ENVIRONMENTAL AWARDS

Story by Birgitte Dodd, Sustainability Strategist
Army Reserve Installation Management Directorate

The Army Reserve Installation Management Directorate supported nominations for the Secretary of the Army Environmental Awards from the 63rd and 88th Readiness Divisions.

The 88th Readiness Division submitted a nomination in the category of Environmental Quality, Individual or Team. The nomination described how the 88th Readiness Division’s Environmental Training Team mitigates environmental risk by providing preventative training and unit-level interaction across over 300 Army Reserve facilities in 19 states. The Team focuses to ensure environmental compliance at every facility, promote overall environmental awareness and provide emphasis on critical focus areas of the command.

The 63rd Readiness Division submitted a nomination in the category of Environmental Quality, Non-Industrial Installation. The nomination highlighted the robust environmental program at the 63rd Readiness Division and its dedicated, skilled and experienced professionals, who engage in a spectrum of practices that support sustainable operations.

The Division also submitted an award nomination for Natural Resources Conservation, Individual or Team. The nomination showcased impressive accomplishments from the Natural Resources Team that have contributed to the continued protection of endangered species. Most notably, efforts led to the conservation of rare plants, including the federally listed, endangered Monterey Spineflower and the state listed, rare Sandmat Manzanita and Wedgeleaf Horkelia.

Winners of the Secretary of the Army Environmental Awards will compete at the Secretary of Defense level in early 2018.

ARMY RESERVE HOLDS FIRST MISSION RESILIENCE AND SUSTAINABILITY TRAINING

Story by Jonelle Kimbrough, Strategic Communicator
Army Reserve Installation Management Directorate

Among Saguaro cacti that stretched to painted deserts and palm trees that reached for watercolor sunsets, sustainability professionals from the United States Army Reserve gathered in Tempe, Arizona for the enterprise’s Mission Resilience and Sustainability Training in November 2017.

For three days, professionals from across the Army Reserve gathered to collaborate, share ideas and learn new ways to develop and implement energy, water, solid waste and environmental quality projects at Installations, Readiness Divisions and the Mission Support Command.

Paul Wirt, Chief of Army Reserve Sustainability Programs, said that the idea for the training developed from a need and a desire to tie sustainability even closer to readiness. At their core, the Army Reserve’s sustainability efforts protect the natural resources that are vital to every mission. They enhance the efficiency of facilities, and they improve the well-being of the Army Reserve’s communities. Army Reserve Mission Resilience and Sustainability Training was designed to bolster those concepts and pave the road for new, innovative approaches to conservation.

“Now, more than ever, it is critical that the Army Reserve has the mission resilience to continue operations at our facilities around the world, despite any manmade or natural crisis,” Wirt said. “Energy and water security concerns, environmental considerations, community engagements and partnerships are all critical readiness aspects. Sustainability is all about looking at our opportunities for the future in an integrated and holistic approach. This training is a significant milestone for the Army Reserve in bringing our subject matter experts together to chart a path forward.”

The inaugural event occurred at Arizona State University and Arizona Heritage Center.

The Army Reserve selected Arizona State University as the primary host for the first Mission Resilience and Sustainability Training because the school is a well-established leader in sustainability education. The university created the nation’s first School of Sustainability in 2006 as a part of its Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability. Now, their program is world renowned.

Dr. Christopher Boone, Dean of the School of Sustainability at Arizona State University, lauded the university’s efforts to provide first-class educational opportunities to active duty Soldiers, Army Reserve Soldiers and veterans, and he praised the Department of Defense’s role in preserving natural resources for the future. “Without the military, we cannot achieve sustainability,” Boone said. “The military is a key player in the implementation of sustainability on the ground.”

Colonel Marshall Banks, Director of the Army Reserve Installation Management Directorate, opened the training at a plenary session that featured Boone; Wirt; John “Jack” Surash, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Energy and Sustainability; and Addison “Tad” Davis, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Energy, Installations and the Environment.

Surash praised the Army Reserve for its significant contributions to the Army’s energy conservation and cost avoidance successes, and he called for more “smart ideas” to come from the participants. “Energy resilience is important for the Army,” he remarked.

Davis called the Army Reserve a “true sustainability force” that is enhancing Army readiness, building valuable partnerships and using taxpayer dollars responsibly through resource conservation. Quoting American journalist Thomas Friedman, he encouraged the professionals in attendance to “do a deep dive,” “transform the DNA” of their programs and “reimagine their processes for a more sustainable outcome.”

A common theme among the presenters was transition.

Boone said that both Arizona State University and the Army Reserve are merely “scratching the surface” of sustainability. “There is still more to be done,” he urged.

Wirt discussed a “tipping point,” when Army Reserve Sustainability Programs would move from compliance to innovation. Until now, Army Reserve Sustainability Programs have focused primarily on meeting mandates and creating a foundation of clear strategies and baseline data, from which progress in energy conservation, water conservation and waste diversion can be tracked. Now, the programs can be creative. “Our collective path forward is clear,” Wirt said. “Now is the time to move forward, make a holistic impact, connect with our communities and lead the Department of Defense in the years to come.”

Davis called the training “a learning experience,” and Wirt challenged his colleagues to embrace new initiatives. “Open your eyes, your ears and – most of all – your minds to the realm of possibility,” Wirt said. “Glean a new understanding of sustainability, and use the knowledge to bolster your contributions to an adaptable, resilient Army Reserve – one that is prepared for a future defined by change.”

Training sessions throughout the three days included energy and water security, solid waste management, sustainable procurement, environmental compliance, real estate, and cultural resources management. Participants appreciated a variety of learning opportunities, from tours of Arizona State University’s campus sustainability initiatives to hands-on technology tutorials.

As they learned practical skills that would benefit their careers, participants also learned how to affect a real culture change in the military. Dr. George Basile, Senior Sustainability Scientist and Professor of Practice at Arizona State University, implored the training participants to approach sustainability from a more personal view. “Sustainability is about better decisions,” Basile said. “Think about sustainability in terms of what matters to you. How will sustainability help you succeed? Be the example, and use that lens of sustainability to bring people together.”

Attendees also enjoyed a rare chance to find motivation from one of the nation’s leading advocates of sustainability. Kate Brandt, Lead of Sustainability Initiatives at Google and former Chief Sustainability Officer under President Barack Obama, offered remarks as part of Arizona State University’s Wrigley Lecture Series. “Everyone’s day job should be sustainability,” she commented during her speech. She said that the Department of Defense’s sustainability achievements are powerful “because they show what is possible.”

At the closing ceremony, Army Reserve Commanding General, Lt. Gen. Charles Luckey, appeared in a video, echoing the importance of sustainability to the enterprise. Robert Maxwell, Chief Financial Officer and Director of Resource Management and Materiel at the Office of the Chief of the Army Reserve, also offered some words of wisdom and encouragement. “There is no question that the Army Reserve leads the pack in sustainability,” Maxwell said. “We are all-in. The Army Reserve plays a critical role in the defense of this nation, and sustainability is critical to our ability to be mission ready today and into the future. Sustainability is the right thing to do for our allegiance to our country, our stewardship of our resources and our commitment to our communities.”

James Hessil, Chief of the Environmental Division at Fort McCoy’s Directorate of Public Works, was inspired by his experience. “I thought the training was an excellent opportunity to interact with Army Reserve personnel from Readiness Divisions and Installations and to learn from other’s best management practices and successes,” he said. “I also thought it was an excellent idea to have Arizona State University host the training because it allowed us to learn sustainability from one of the best institutions in the world.”

“The Army Reserve has much to be proud of in the last five years on our path to becoming a sustainable world-wide organization,” Wirt said. “But, this training has highlighted to the participants that there are so many more opportunities that we need to embrace. I believe that the participants left [the training] with a more collective vision of where we need to focus our efforts and how each one of us has a critical role in those efforts. Leveraging and building on partnerships both within our communities and with outstanding institutions like Arizona State University is incredibly important for our overall success.”

SEE A PHOTO ALBUM FROM ARMY RESERVE MISSION RESILIENCE AND SUSTAINABILITY TRAINING ON FLICKR!

RIGHT AS RAIN: ARMY RESERVE PILOTS RAINWATER HARVESTING FOR VEHICLE WASH

Story by Jonelle Kimbrough, Strategic Communicator
Army Reserve Installation Management Directorate

Poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow once said, “Into each life, some rain must fall.”

For the United States Army Reserve, the mission is life, and rain is an opportunity to be an agile, innovative force in the Department of Defense.

The Army Reserve Water Security Implementation Strategy guides the Command’s efforts to conserve mission-critical water assets. Goal Three of the strategy is “Utilize Alternative Water Sources,” or sustainable sources of water that reduce the demand for fresh surface water and groundwater.

One alternative water source is rainwater.

Rainwater harvesting can save the Army Reserve’s natural resources and bolster its water security for the future. To that end, the Army Reserve Installation Management Directorate and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) have implemented rainwater harvesting at vehicle wash facilities in the 63rd and 81st Regional Support Commands.

Susan Loper, an analyst with PNNL, said that rainwater harvesting for vehicle wash is a particularly viable initiative for the Army Reserve. “Vehicle wash is more common at Army Reserve sites, compared to other non-potable water applications such as irrigation,” she explained.

Over 460 Army Reserve Centers across the country have vehicle maintenance facilities.

To identify potential sites for rainwater harvesting, a team from the Army Reserve Installation Management Directorate and PNNL conducted a strategic geospatial study. The study examined factors such as rainfall, water use, water demand and watershed vulnerability, which indicates an area where the potable water supply is or will be threatened. About 42 percent of Army Reserve facilities are in “vulnerable” areas.

With the results of the study, the team identified over 300 facilities in the Southeast, Northeast and Midwest regions of the continental United States as suitable candidates for rainwater harvesting. Ultimately, they selected Grand Prairie Army Reserve Center in Grand Prairie, Texas and Harry Milton Kandel Army Reserve Center in Savannah, Georgia as pilot sites.

According to Loper, Grand Prairie Army Reserve Center and Harry Milton Kandel Army Reserve Center have relatively high demands for vehicle wash. Rainwater harvesting can fulfill most, if not all, of those demands. Equally significant, Grand Prairie and Savannah are in vulnerable watersheds due to numerous environmental, economic and social factors.

Rainwater harvesting will conserve valuable potable water resources for the Army Reserve. Potentially, the Grand Prairie site will supply 140,000 gallons of rainwater each year, and the Savannah site will supply 200,000 gallons of rainwater each year.

The projects will also support the Command’s efforts to reach federal water use reduction goals. As a federal entity, the Army Reserve must reduce its water use intensity by two percent annually – for a total reduction of 36 percent – by 2025, compared to a 2007 baseline. The Army Reserve has reduced water use intensity across the enterprise by 44 percent since 2007, far exceeding the goal.

Furthermore, rainwater harvesting will leverage partnerships between the Army Reserve and its stakeholders. Contractors installed the pilot systems at the sites in February and March 2017. On-site professionals will operate and maintain the systems. The Army Reserve Installation Management Directorate and PNNL will monitor the systems during their first years of operation.

Finally, and importantly, rainwater harvesting will enhance the Army Reserve’s mission readiness because it saves potable water for the enterprise’s most valuable resource – its Soldiers.

“Water is absolutely necessary for us to train,” said Trey Lewis, Army Reserve Water Program Coordinator. As a former Soldier, Lewis personally understands water’s vital role in the military’s battle rhythm. “We can train without internet access. We can train without electricity. For a limited time, we can even train without food. If we run out of water, we’re done, and we’re done right away. In a cantonment area, the toilets do not flush. The sinks do not flow. Everything shuts down. In a field environment, a water shortage can become a life or death situation, especially in hot summers when training is at its most intense. Rainwater harvesting helps us avert situations that would delay or stop training, get in front of the curve during natural disasters, and help us become – in the event of an emergency – an asset that can provide assistance and security instead of a liability that needs assistance.”

Lewis visited the Savannah site, and his impressions were favorable. He said that, so far, the personnel at the Army Reserve Center’s vehicle wash facility are pleased with the rainwater harvesting system’s performance. “Overall, [the project] seems promising,” he remarked.

The Army Reserve depends on water to sustain its warfighters, maintain its facilities and accomplish its missions. As the Command strives to protect its resources, the Army Reserve Installation Management Directorate and PNNL are driving advanced solutions to water security. Cutting-edge technologies such as rainwater harvesting will protect precious natural assets, support Soldiers and fully enable the defense the nation – now and in the future.

ARTICLE CONTRIBUTORS

Jonelle Kimbrough, Army Reserve Sustainability Programs
Trey Lewis, Army Reserve Sustainability Programs
Susan Loper, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Kate McMordie Stoughton, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

ARMY RESERVE WELL-REPRESENTED AT ENERGY EXCHANGE

Story by Jonelle Kimbrough, Strategic Communicator
Army Reserve Installation Management Directorate

What happens when some of the U.S. Army Reserve’s brightest minds converge? A lot of bright ideas are born. And, those bright ideas often go on to become innovative energy initiatives that conserve resources for the Department of Defense and support the military mission.

Directors of Public Works, Energy Managers, Resource Efficiency Managers and members of the Army Reserve Installation Management Directorate (ARIMD) Energy Team descended on Providence, Rhode Island in August for the annual Federal government’s Energy Exchange.

Hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy, the Energy Exchange is an educational forum that provides opportunities for energy professionals to learn more about energy management and sustainability in the Federal sector and to establish contacts with others in the field.

To commence the activities, ARIMD hosted the Army Reserve Energy Manager Training Workshop on Monday, August 8. At the event, Army Reserve representatives presented reports on Comprehensive Energy and Water Evaluations, assessments on metering and utility monitoring and briefs on a variety of energy projects. Ms. Judith Hudson, Chief of the Energy and Facility Policy Division at the Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management, and Ms. Kristine Kingery, Program Director at the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Energy and Sustainability, addressed the participants and discussed the importance of energy security and sustainability initiatives to the Army Reserve’s mission.

Throughout the following days, attendees enjoyed a trade show and sessions on topics such as integrated energy, sustainability planning, renewable energy, fleet management and project financing.

The Secretary of the Army Energy and Water Management Awards ceremony was held on Thursday, August 11. The 63rd Regional Support Command accepted honors for Energy Efficiency and Energy Management, Small Group.

On Friday, Army Energy Managers gathered for the Department of Army Energy Manager Training Workshop to close the week.

Several Army Reserve delegates were among the presenters.

Mr. Anibal Negron, Chief of the Environmental Division at the Directorate of Public Works at Fort Buchanan, Puerto Rico, shared his expertise on the use of Energy Savings Performance Contracts and the Environmental Security Technology Certification Program to fund numerous energy conservation measures on the Installation. He also offered a progress report on Fort Buchanan’s efforts to achieve Net Zero energy, or to produce as much energy as the Installation consumes.

Mr. Greg Vallery, Director of Public Works at Fort Hunter Liggett, California, discussed his Installation’s renewable energy projects and Net Zero initiatives.

Mr. Paul Wirt and Ms. Robin Robinson of ARIMD presented on the Utility Rates Analysis Study, which will determine the utility rate structures for all Army Reserve sites and identify opportunities to reduce expenditures.

“The Energy Exchange is an outstanding annual forum for Energy Managers across the country to participate on panels, share lessons learned and learn about the latest technologies,” said Wirt, Chief of Sustainability Programs at ARIMD. Wirt went on to emphasize the positive impacts that both the Department of the Army and the Army Reserve have had as a result of their sessions before and after the Energy Exchange. “We can really build a strong team when Army and Army Reserve energy and water professionals are able to meet face-to-face and discuss mutual challenges and opportunities to reduce our consumption and utility costs and to increase our energy resilience.”

63RD REGIONAL SUPPORT COMMAND RECEIVES SECRETARY OF THE ARMY AWARD

The U.S. Army Reserve’s 63rd Regional Support Command (RSC) recently received the Secretary of the Army Energy and Water Management Award for Energy Efficiency and Energy Management, Small Group.

The award celebrated a variety of innovative sustainability initiatives that saved energy, water and fiscal resources throughout the 63rd RSC, which includes the states of Arizona, Arkansas, California, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. In fiscal year 2015, conservation efforts saved 31.3 million British Thermal Units of energy, and they reduced water consumption by 38 percent when compared to fiscal year 2014. As a result, the 63rd RSC saved $583,503.

To decrease energy use, the 63rd RSC leveraged meters, renewable technologies and energy efficiency improvements. The Army Meter Data Management System monitored energy use at 74 facilities across the region. Solar arrays at March Armed Forces Reserve Center in California and Barnes Hall Army Reserve Center in Arizona produced 293,000 kilowatt hours of power in fiscal year 2015, and an award-winning lighting project in parking areas at Camp Pike, Arkansas reduced energy consumption by 85 percent at that site.

The 63rd RSC implemented various water conservation efforts as well. Improvements to plumbing increased water efficiency at multiple facilities, and drought tolerant, native plant landscapes – known as xeriscapes – reduced the need for irrigation at multiple Army Reserve sites in southern California.

Furthermore, the 63rd RSC Energy Team continued to educate its communities about conservation and its commitment to sustainability.

The Secretary of the Army Energy and Water Management Awards were presented at a special ceremony at the Federal government’s annual Energy Exchange in Providence, Rhode Island on August 11. Colonel Stewart Fearon, the 63rd RSC’s Director of Public Works, attended the event with Deputy Director of Public Works Mr. Keith Puschinsky; Operations Division Chief Mr. Mark Cutler; Energy Managers Mr. Rickey Johns, Mr. Hays Kinslow and Mr. Gerry McClelland; and Resource Efficiency Managers Mr. Brad Brown and Mr. Varun Sood.

The Honorable Katherine Hammack, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and the Environment, hosted the ceremony and offered her gratitude to the honorees. “The Army is setting the standard for resource conservation – not only in the Department of Defense but in the Federal government,” Hammack said.

Lieutenant General Gwen Bingham, Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management, also addressed the attendants and encouraged them to further their efforts. “What do you do when you achieve one goal?” she asked. “You set a new one.”

Johns said that the 63rd RSC’s accomplishments are truly the results of a dedicated team, and Command support has driven their success. “We’ve all heard that ‘it takes a village to raise a child,’” he commented. “It takes a Command to build a viable energy program. At the 63rd RSC, we have a Command that supports our energy program.” He pointed to the strong presence of leadership at the ceremony as evidence of that support.

Johns and Kinslow also praised the Army Reserve Installation Management Directorate (ARIMD) for its steadfast encouragement of their program and its assistance with the award nomination. “With the help of the ARIMD Energy Team, the hard work of the 63rd RSC Energy Team and the great support of the 63rd RSC’s public works staff was recognized today,” Kinslow remarked.

“I feel extremely fortunate to be a part of this team,” Johns added. “I look forward to many more years with all of the Army Reserve family.”

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE 63RD REGIONAL SUPPORT COMMAND

XERISCAPING PROJECTS SAVE WATER DESPITE DROUGHT AT 63RD REGIONAL SUPPORT COMMAND

Drought Tolerant Plants
In the 1746 edition of “Poor Richard’s Almanack,” American statesman Benjamin Franklin wrote, “When the well is dry, we will know the worth of water.” The U.S. Army Reserve knows the worth of water. In fact, the success of every mission depends on it. At some sites, though, drought is turning water into a limited resource and conservation into a necessity.

The 63rd Regional Support Command (RSC) has found a practical way to combat the drought and reduce water consumption with some unique landscaping projects.

“Water conservation projects were, and are, necessary due to the water use observed at many sites,” said Varun Sood, a resource efficiency manager for the 63rd RSC. Many facilities in the Command– which includes the states of California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas – are located in arid geographic areas that continuously experience drought and water scarcity, resulting in high water bills and a lack of water security that threatens to disrupt readiness.

“We want to reduce our total water consumption,” said Sood. To that end, the 63rd RSC added xeriscaping to conservation efforts.

Xeriscaping is the practice of landscaping and gardening that reduces or eliminates the need for supplemental irrigation. Originally developed for drought-afflicted areas, the principles of xeriscaping have a broadening appeal as a result of their many benefits.

Typically, xeriscapes have features that are less water intensive such as stone ground covers and native plants, which are plants that have naturally occurred in a particular habitat over time, with no human intervention. Native plants are well adapted to an area’s unique climate and environmental characteristics such as its water availability, soil composition and indigenous insects. Xeriscapes therefore require less water, fewer fertilizers and fewer pesticides. As a result, these designs have the long-term potential to conserve water, prevent chemical pollution and save money. Hays Kinslow, an energy manager with the 63rd RSC, said that xeriscapes also improve the aesthetics of their sites and reduce the need for water infrastructure and grounds maintenance.

Over the past two years, xeriscapes have been completed in California at Los Alamitos Reserve Center in Los Alamitos, Holderman Hall Reserve Center in Los Angeles and Bell Reserve Center in Bell Gardens. “They are large facilities where we could make a big impact due to the amount of water used there for irrigation,” Sood explained. Currently, another xeriscape is planned for Leymel Hall Reserve Center in Fresno, and the 63rd RSC is exploring ways to incorporate xeriscaping in future projects.

According to Sood, all of the 63rd RSC’s projects include plants native to California, stone ground covers, drip irrigation systems and other features of a traditional xeric garden.

When xeriscapes have been combined with additional water conservation methods, such as plumbing improvements, the results have been quite impressive. The 63rd RSC has reduced its water use by nearly 38 percent from fiscal year 2014 to fiscal year 2015. “Xeriscape projects have reduced the need for irrigation and have definitely contributed to a reduction in water use at our sites,” said Sood.

With their innovative ideas for landscapes that work with the environmental conditions at their sites, the 63rd RSC is contributing to a culture of conservation across the Army Reserve, and they are making every drop count.

READ MORE ABOUT XERISCAPING

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Xeriscape from Sustainable Sources

Xeriscape Ideas from The Landscaping Network

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