"The Lawn Goodbye" - KCET Focus on Lawn Alternatives

We are in record drought conditions, and the word is spreading in Southern California - traditional lawns use more water than we can afford. KCET reporter Jennifer Sabih gets the facts from the City Of Santa Monica's Russell Ackerman in this fresh video.

Watch Video


View the "How-To" video collection
The City of Santa Monica's popular Sprinkler Conversion video has been chosen by a statewide conservation group to be included in a collection of "How-To" water conservation videos. Only 50 of the best videos available made the grade.


garden\garden Proves that Sustainable Landscapes Perform  

garden\garden, a public demonstration garden at 1718 and 1724 Pearl St, shows that sustainable landscapes are cost-effective, environmentally beneficial, and easy to replicate. A nine-year case study documenting the resource consumption at the two gardens shows that the Native Garden (1724 Pearl St.) uses 83% less water; generates 56% less green waste and requires 68% less maintenance than the Traditional Garden (1718 Pearl St.). View the full report: garden-garden 2013  

Airport Avenue
Demonstration Gardens

These gardens are meant to inspire you to investigate what makes-up a sustainable landscape, and hopefully to install one of your own. On the Airport Avenue Demonstration Gardens page, you will find designs, plant lists, irrigation specs, and materials lists; everything you need to make your garden transformation a reality. And don't forget the Rebates that are available to help get the job done.

All about Santa Monica's leaf blower ban 

Principles of Sustainable Landscaping

A Sustainable Landscape is based upon a unique set of design principles. These design principles are outlined below and refllect the different elements to consider when creating a landscape that minimizes its impact on precious resources like water, but maximizes its potential for creating long lasting beauty and ecological habitat. A well thought out, resource efficient design will reduce maintenance costs by working in concert with natural cycles instead of against them.
  • Minimize Impacts on Air, Water, & Fossil Fuels
  • Reduce Pesticide & Chemical Use
  • Recycle Materials On-Site
  • Source Green Building Materials
  • Choose Climate Appropriate Plants
  • Use Mulch and Control Weeds
  • Create Habitat
  • Use Benign Treatments for Pests and Plant Disease
  • Plant Edibles
  • Consider Plant Placement and Scale
  • Prepare the Soil Properly
  • Integrate Rain Water Recovery Strategies
  • Install Water-Efficient Irrigation

All About Plants

Climate-appropriate, drought-tolerant, California-friendly, water-wise: different ways to say the same thing -- choosing the right plant material is an important part of any sustainable landscape.
Learn More.

A Website for Sore Eyes

Take a gander at some gorgeous gardens, point and click on the plants you like and - voila! - you tap into a wealth of information on that particular plant species.  Click again and you automatically compile a printable list of plants that can easily be handed-off to a landscaper or an attendant at your favorite nursery. 

This tool will go a long way in helping you overcome some of the most significant hurdles in getting your sustainable landscape project started.
City of Santa Monica © 2015

Santa Monica Office of Sustainability and the Environment
1685 Main St., Santa Monica, CA 90401 · (310) 458-2213 · TTY (310) 917-6626