Mission Statement

The Soboba Tribal Environmental Department is committed to protecting, restoring, and enhancing natural resources on the Soboba Reservation for all tribal members past, present, and future.

What We Do

The Environmental Department works to raise awareness of all aspects of the environment. This includes solid waste issues, pollution prevention, water and air quality, conservation measures, household hazardous waste disposal, and many other areas. In addition to community outreach and education efforts such as participating in community events, the department also hosts an annual Tribal Earth Day event and community clean up days. We also conduct surface water quality testing on streams running through the reservation, collect and manage geographical data, and create programs to address environmental concerns.

An easy way to begin learning about the environment around you is to visit the United States Environmental Protection Agency website and use MyEnvironment


Soboba Tribal Community Clean-up 2020


The Soboba Tribal Environmental Department would like to thank all the Tribal members for their participation in another successful community cleanup. The Environmental Department could not have accomplished this feat without the help and hard work of the Soboba Public Works Department. The Environmental Department would also like to send a big thank you to TANF Staff, the TANF Summer Youth Academy, and all the volunteers that came out to help us.



The blue skies and warmer temperatures of this time of year gives us so many great opportunities to enjoy outdoor activities. So why not combine the outdoors and eco- friendly activities that benefit your health and the environment by starting your own garden! Growing your own fruits and vegetable is not only good for you but for the environment too! Growing your own food reduces your carbon footprint by reducing the amount of fossil fuels and energy it takes to bring produce to your plate. Most produce you buy in the store, on average has to travel more than 1,500 miles from the farm to your local grocer, and then to you. The cost and production of fossil fuels that comes with the transport of produce is extremely high and significantly contributes to harmful impacts on the environment and climate change. Growing your own food can start to reduce the amount of produce needed at local grocers and in turn will decrease the amount of pollution created from growing and transporting produce commercially.

Growing organic gardens or gardens with reduced pesticide and fertilizer use is another great environmental benefit to gardening. Large-scale produce crops are often treated with the highest regulated limit of pesticides and fertilizers, but even approved amounts of these chemicals can be detrimental to the environment. One of the biggest impacts from these pollutants is contamination of waterways and groundwater. While pesticides and fertilizers are sprayed on crops, rain and watering can carry these pollutants right into lakes and streams that plants, animals and people are exposed to (known as non-point source pollution).

Gardening and growing your own food is not only fun and rewarding, it also provides many benefits for human health. Growing healthy food like fruits and vegetables helps you eat better! Having healthy foods promotes a better diet of fresh healthy produce and helps meet daily-recommended amounts of vitamins and nutrients vital to healthy living. Gardening can develop long lasting habits of eating more fruits and vegetables, according to 2016 research from the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, “gardening may work not only by providing fresh veggies but also making it more likely for children to try foods they may not have eaten before”.


1. Growing your own food can help you eat healthier.

Besides the physical exercise you'll get tending to a vegetable garden, a productive plot can also promote a better diet by supplying fresh, healthy produce. The Dietary Guidelines recommends eating at least 2-3 cups of vegetables and 1½ cups of fruits per day to get necessary nutrients and reduce risk of chronic disease. However, only 1 in 10 Americans adults meet those recommendations, according to the CDC.

2. Gardening burns calories.

Great news! Gardening is considered a form of moderate-intensity exercise. You can burn about 330 calories doing one hour of light gardening and yard work — more than walking at a moderate pace for the same amount of time — according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Men and women who participated in a community gardening program also had significantly lower BMIs (body mass indexes) than their otherwise similar neighbors, according to a 2013 study in the American Journal of Public Health.

3. It can lower your blood pressure.

Just 30 minutes of moderate-level physical activity most days of the week can prevent and control high blood pressure. In fact, The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute recommends gardening or raking leaves for 30-45 minutes as examples of how to hit that recommended amount.

4. Spending time outside is good for your bones.

When you're outdoors and your skin is exposed to the sun, it prompts your body to make vitamin D. This vitamin — also found in fish and fortified foods like milk — helps your body absorb calcium, a mineral essential for bone formation, according to the National Institutes of Health. (FYI: You should still apply sunscreen if you're planning on spending more than a few minutes in the sun to lower your risk of skin cancer.)

5. Gardening can relieve stress.

Gardening is positively correlated with a reduction in depression and anxiety symptoms, in fact, some hospitals even use planting and flower arranging as a type of rehabilitation for people recovering from injuries, strokes, surgeries, and other conditions.

6. Gardening can Save you Money

Produce and especially organic food can be costly; growing your own foods can significantly reduce your grocery bills and provide healthy diets to you and your family.


So, if it’s time to start exercising your green thumb, here are some easy tips to help you start your own garden!



Provided by The Old Farmer’s Almanac


Picking a good location for your garden is very important. The wrong location can result in less than desirable veggies. Here are a few tips for choosing a good site:

1. Plant in a sunny location. Most vegetables need at least 6   hours of direct sunlight per day. There are a few veggies that will tolerate some shade.

 2. Plant in moist, well-drained soil. If you have poorly drained soil (water pools), plant veggies in a raised bed. If you have rocky soil, till and remove the rocks.

 3. Plant in a stable environment. Avoid places that receive strong winds could knock over your young plants or keep pollinators from doing their job. You also don’t want to plant in a location that receives too much foot traffic or floods easily.




It’s better to be proud of a small garden than be frustrated by a big one!

One of the most common errors that beginners make is planting too much too soon—much more than  anybody could ever eat or want! So unless you want to be eating zucchini for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, plan your garden with some thought. Start-off small, and only grow what you know you will eat.

1. Make your garden 11 rows wide, with each row 10 feet long. The rows should run north and south to take full advantage of the sun. (Note: If this garden is too large for your needs, you do not have to plant all 11 rows, or you can simply make the rows shorter.)

2. Make sure that you have paths that allow you to access your plants to weed and harvest. The general rule is: Don’t allow more than four feet of plants without access to them. Just make sure that you can reach the center of the row or bed easily without stepping on neighboring crops.


The vegetables suggested below are common, productive plants that are relatively easy to grow. If you have more questions about the best times of year and vegetable types to grow you can inquire with your local horticulturist, seed packets, The Old Farmer’s Almanac website: https://www.almanac.com and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Home Garden website: https://www.nal.usda.gov.

Top Ten Vegetables


Zucchini squash



Bush beans






Marigolds (discourages pests and add a pop of color to your garden!)

Some guidelines to choosing vegetables:

Choose what you (and your family) like to eat. If no one likes Brussels sprouts, don’t plant them! Be realistic about how many vegetables your family will eat. Be careful not to overplant. (Of course, you could always give your veggies away.)

Consider the availability of veggies at your grocery store. Maybe you want to grow tomatillo, instead of cabbage or carrots that are available. Also, certain veggies are so far superior when home-grown, it’s almost a shame not to consider (we’re thinking of garden lettuce and tomatoes!). Also, home-grown herbs are far less expensive than grocery store herbs.

Summer vacation? Remember that tomatoes and zucchinis are growing in the middle of summer. If you’re gone part of the summer, you need someone to look after the drops or they will suffer. Or, you could just plant cool-season crops such as lettuce and kale and root veggies.

Use high-quality seeds. Seed packets are less expensive than individual plants, but if seeds don’t germinate, your money—and time—are wasted. A few extra cents spent in spring for that year’s seeds will pay off in higher yields at harvest time. If you plan ahead, buying straight from the nursery seedsmen is cheaper and higher-quality.


If you are simply growing two or three tomato plants, this process is easy. But if you plant to grow a full garden, you need to consider:

Where each vegetable will go?

When each vegetable needs to be planted.

Here are a few guidelines to arranging your vegetables:

There are “cool-season” veggies that grow in spring (lettuce, spinach, root veggies) and “warm-season” veggies that are not planted until the soil warms up (tomatoes, peppers). Plant cool-season crops after spring frost and then plant warm-season crops in the same area later in the season.

Plant tall veggies (such as pole beans or a trellis or sweet corn) on the north side of the garden so they don’t shade shorter plants. If you do get shade in a part of your garden, save that area for small cool-season veggies. If shade is unavoidable in parts of your garden, save those areas for cool-season vegetables that appreciate shade as the weather heats up.

Most veggies are annuals (planted each year). If you are planning on “perennial” crops such as asparagus, rhubarb, and some herbs, provide permanent locations or beds

Consider that some crops mature quickly and have a very short harvest period (radishes, bush beans). Other plants, such as tomatoes, have a longer period to mature. These “days to maturity” are on the seed packet. Vegetables that may yield more than one crop per season include beans, beets, carrots, cabbage, kohlrabi, lettuce, radishes, rutabagas, spinach, and turnips.

Stagger plantings. You don’t want plant all your lettuce seeds at the same time or all that lettuce needs to be harvested around the same time! Stagger plantings by a few weeks to keep ‘em coming!

When to plant what?

Every region has a different planting time based mainly on their weather, and every vegetable has its temperature preferences, too. A great online resource to find out about planting times in your area, visit The Old Farmer’s Almanac web site and see the Almanac’s Best Planting Dates—a gardening calendar customized to your local frost dates. Just enter your zip code! www.almanac.com/gardening/planting-calendar



Southern California Planting Guide

Provided by Grangetto’s