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Ventura Harbor & Harbor Village Dress Up with new Environmentally-Friendly Improvements

Improvements reduce water and energy use.

With new landscaping, pretty LED lighting and a host of other environmentally friendly enhancements, Ventura Harbor and Harbor Village underwent an eco-friendly facelift in 2014. And, more improvements are on the way.

The improvements not only add beauty to the Harbor and Harbor Village, but are saving energy and water too. The Ventura Port District funded the effort to make the Harbor a prettier place for the public, boaters and people who work at the Harbor. Another important goal was to cut back on water and energy use as well.

‘The Port District Board has been so supportive of the whole effort and encouraging us to continue to move forward,” said Ventura Port District Property Manager Robin Baer, who helped lead the effort.

One of the biggest improvements is new landscaping throughout the Harbor and Harbor Village. Scores of diseased trees were removed and replaced with new drought-tolerant and coastal-friendly plants and trees. Succulents, palms and plants native to the coast and Channel Islands have been planted, and several planters were filled with colored mulch made from recycled tires.

“It comes into different colors. We created water riverbeds with the blue recycled tires in some of the beds. It’s supposed to last 10 years. It keeps the soil moist and we’ve been able to cut down on our watering quite a bit,” Baer said.

The safety and needs of the Channel Islands’ natural ecosystem was also taken into consideration during the renovation. In the area near Island Packers, where visitors board boats for trips to the islands, Baer and Harbor officials worked with the National Park Service to make sure that new plants installed in that area would not endanger the islands in case seeds migrated to the islands from the boats and visitors. Baer also hopes to have some of the grass removed from planters in the parking lots around the Harbor and replaced with artificial turf.

Landscaping isn’t the only upgrade. The Harbor and Harbor Village have new trash receptacles with new finishes (the old ones were recycled). All Harbor Village restrooms were refit with hand dryers and auto flushes to save energy and water. And, buildings facing the parking lot received attractive new facades.

In addition, the Ventura Port District is helping tenants replace light bulbs with energy-saving LEDs as their old light bulbs burn out. Furthermore, any time a window needs to be replaced, it’s being replaced with a double-paned window that offers better insulation and saves energy. SoCal Edison provided new LED lighting for the master lessees to use in their buildings, and new LED rope lights are illuminating the gangways to make them prettier and safer at night. The energy savings will greatly increase over time with these changes.

“You can see the lights from everywhere you are walking. At night the light reflects on the water and it’s really pretty,” Baer said.

New lighting also was added to the promenade and front entry area. “We have been wrapping lights and changing the colors all along the promenade to get more ambiance,” she said. Another nice touch is the various flags that fly at the Harbor, honoring different states, nations and holidays throughout the year.

In the future, attractive heat lamps and fire pits may also be added to the common areas and courtyards that offer seating and dining, Baer said.

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