That’s another reason the binational friendship garden is so important. While the estuary is still alive and well, this small garden reminds us that our water, our air, the ocean, like the Tijuana River Watershed, know no boundaries. The garden provides opportunities for the public to engage in hands on learning about the wide variety of flora that make up our local habitat. By learning to care for our natural habitat, we can make our home a healthy and safe place for the generations who come after us.
Tijuana River Watershed, a 1750 square mile watershed–or drainage basin–which creates a natural link between Baja California and the US state of California to the north. The Tijuana Estuary, just a few hundred feet to the north of the garden, is home to some of the most important habitat in the Baja and Alta California region. The last stand of Maritime succulent scrub grows here, found nowhere else in the US, and the area hosts the northernmost extent of this habitat, which extends southward into Mexico. The Coastal sage scrub of the area is a very important habitat for federally listed endangered birds. The border wall project has directly destroyed some very important habitat in the Tijuana Estuarine Research Reserve directly north of the canyon.Since 2007, Dan Watman has had a dream. To use the natural environment and common friendship as a means to overcome the fear and paranoia for which the United States border wall is our most potent and odious symbol. What better way, then, but to cultivate a garden of native plants right at the foot of this wall. And what better plant than the Salvia apiana or California White Sage, known for its cleansing properties and used for centuries to ward off evil spirits. Burning the dried sage remains an important ritual of purification for the local Kumeyaay people, indigenous to this region. The Kumeyaay used all kinds of native plants in their cuisine. And this is why, notes landscape architect Martin Acosta Martinez, it is so important to restore and cultivate native plant gardens. “The saladito plant right here, produces a red berry, and the ancient people who used to live in this region used these berries to make “aguas,” says Acosta. (Aguas are a water-based beverage flavored with fruit, leaves or berries). “These native plant gardens educate people about the kinds of plants they can use in their own gardens and yards. Plants that don’t need much water and are good for our climate.” The border wall in San Diego cuts right across the