Landscaping & Gardening
The garden suggests there might be a place where we can meet nature halfway--Michael Pollan
Flowers and fruits are not the only delights to be had in a garden. When we grow a garden or plant a landscape, we are molding an ecosystem that includes birds, butterflies, and the thousands of other creatures. The choices we make affect biodiversity, surface water quality, water use, and our own health. Here are some tools to help change your landscape:
Safer pest management for home gardeners
The Our Water Our World program has developed simple factsheets on managing the most common home and garden pests without pesticides. Similar resources are available from the Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides.
Certifications for landscapes and landscapers
Standards and certifications can be powerful tools for changing an industry; for example, the US Green Building Council’s LEED checklists have spawned a multimillion dollar industry. For landscaping in the San Francisco Bay Area, the most sophisticated certification system available is the Bay Friendly Landscaping Guidelines. This program provides high quality training and certification for professional landscapers, landscape architects, and landscape raters, as well as holistic checklists to rate your own landscape. The Bay Friendly Landscaping & Gardening Coalition, in conjunction with StopWaste.org, also hosts home garden tours, and has produced a variety of other resources for both professional landscapers and home gardeners.
Home gardener trainings
Garden for the Environment, a San Francisco-based nonprofit, holds home gardener trainings year round, ranging from composting to chickens.
Resources on WaterWise gardens
San Francisco’s Water Power Sewer Department provides detailed water conservation information (including compliance with San Francisco’s Irrigation Ordinance, graywater use, and rainwater harvesting) as well as tips on reducing stormwater pollution and planting low water use, climate appropriate plants.
Additional Information for Landscaping & Gardening
San Francisco is habitat for 800,000 people – meeting needs for space to work, play, and learn; for food, water, and air; for community with local flora and fauna. SF Environment provides support for urban agriculture and forestry and green buildings, helping residents and businesses harness environmental opportunities.