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Oakhurst, May 17, 2019 (Kellie Flanagan)

Living In The Foothills — A Unique Environmental Workshop

OAKHURST — “The beauty and challenges of the foothills make it a ‘unique’ place to live,” says Jeannie Habben, a Coarsegold resident for 27 years and the new Deputy Director of Water and Natural Resources for Madera County.

On Saturday, June 29, Habben will present a workshop at the Oakhurst Branch Library that will address the challenges to living more safely in the foothills of Eastern Madera County, with a focus on water, fire, weeds, building options and wells.

Entitled “Living in the Foothills — A Unique Environmental Challenge,” the presentation held from 10:30 a.m. to noon will take place in the library’s Community Room at 49044 Civic Circle Drive.

During her workshop, Habben will give various pieces of advice, including to watch what you plant in your yard because, if it’s an invasive plant, it can take over the foothills.

“This happened when one landowner decided the grow St. John’s Wart for homeopathic cures,” she explains. “Now, we have the largest invasive mass of this plant in the state of California.”

After more than 20 years working with people in Human Resources in various industries, Habben made the switch to work on environmental issues and now likes to say that she lives what she speaks and believes.

“While building our home, my husband and I made it nearly fire-proof and net zero while at the same time fighting to change several ordinances with the county planning and building department along the way,” she points out.

‘Net zero’ means that if your home or office, for example, is working at ‘net zero’ energy, it is producing as much or more energy as it is using.

“In fact, our home was featured in two PBS episodes of the ‘The Green Planet’ series as well as in other publications referred to as ‘Trail Blazing Extreme Green,’” she continues.

Prior to her new position with Madera County, Habben was a Watershed Coordinator/Environmental Consultant in the foothills and Madera valley for 15 years. She has a degree in Human Resource Management and Organizational Development. She now works on various water and natural resource issues for Madera County.

The free event is sponsored by the Friends of the Oakhurst Branch Library (FOBL). For more information, call (559) 683-4838 or visit FOBL’s website.

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