Stewardship Travel

It takes a village to raise plants in the Main Street median strip

Special to The CambrianJune 13, 2014 

The beauty of the community we live in reflects who we are. Cambria is a unique place, known for its natural beauty, rugged coastline and peaceful environment. Beautification creates an inviting atmosphere that lifts the spirits and inspires community pride. Cambrians are masters at maximizing the use of drought-tolerant plants, whose varied colors create a look and feel distinctive to Cambria.

On Main Street between the East and West Village, there are center dividers and planting beds along both sides of the street. No single agency or organization claims responsibility. Without care, the planters would expose barren dirt and unkempt weeds.

A mixed group of volunteers have kept the planters going with regular upkeep by removing weeds and dead plants, and adding a little nonpotable water. The Cambria Land Conservancy, several local organizations and businesses and a few hardy individuals have taken stewardship for more than 20 sidewalk planters and sections of the center divider.

It should come as no surprise that the Main Street planters are stunning examples of xeriscape gardens. Even drought-tolerant plants need a little water now and then. Extra support was needed, and given, by the Cambria Tourism Board, in the form of a grant to support the delivery of nonpotable water to keep Main Street’s planters in bloom.

Linda Finley, Cambria Tourism Board Outreach Chair and Stewardship Travel Program ambassador says, “I believe in taking care of our community and making it shine. It is important that the Main Street center dividers look vibrantly alive.”

Residents as well as visitors enjoy the benefits. When asked for her opinion on the center strip plantings, long-time resident Shirley Bianchi said, “Not only is it nice for the visitors, but it’s extremely pleasant for the people who live here!”

The planters could use a little more help from the community. It’s not much to adopt a planter or section of center strip, weed and water it now and then, and watch it flourish with pride. If a few more people lend a hand, the gardens can continue to inspire us all with their beauty. For more information, contact the Cambria Land Conservancy at 927-1749.

Michele Roest is a biologist and naturalist with a lifelong love for San Luis Obispo County. To contact Michele Roest, send an email to

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