Green Infrastructure: Natures Critical Role

Reach Green Building Goals (and More) by Building Green Infrastructure

The green building community can speed accomplishment of its goals by incorporating more nature.

Sources Referenced

Green Building Standards

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)

LEED for Neighborhood Development

Sustainable SITES

Health Impacts

The Nature Fix, Florence Williams

Bring Nature Home, Doug Tallamy

Increased Home Size in LA, Su Jun Lee et al.

Environmental Impacts

Council for Watershed Health

Green Infrastructure, Environmental Protection Agency

Stormwater Retention Program, Environmental Protection Agency

Economic Impacts

Green Cities: Good Health, University of Washington

Native Landscapes Boost Bottom Line, USGBC-LA Blog

Inequitable Green Infrastructure in Los Angeles

Technical Assistance Program, Los Angeles Recreation, Parks and Open Space District

Maps, Advancement Project

Park Equity, Prevention Institute

Design Tips

Design Tips

The new LA aesthetic is as creative and diverse as LA itself. Hallmarks include the lush and leafy year-round greenery of California’s more than 6000 native plants, permeable walks and drives, and an overall aesthetic that complements architecture and facilitates life style.

Get design tips for achieving the new look for LA, take a quiz to find your personal landscape style, or get more general design tips.

Style Quizes

Discover Your Landscape Style

There is no formula for the LA style. It is about tying your self expression to the needs of your architecture and the natural environment in your neighborhood. You could say the curb appeal it creates is all about authenticity – take the quiz to discover how to turn heads while you do you.

What (Native) Plants Match Your Style?

With more than 6000 plants adapted to thrive in Los Angeles, it is possible to craft beautiful landscapes of any style from native plants. Once you discover your landscape style, get matched with native plant palettes that will help you achieve your distinctive look.

Plant Palettes

IdealMow® Lawns and Meadows

California native grasses and groundcovers make great alternatives to the thirsty, delicate, boring traditional lawns. Not only do they add something distinctive to your landscape aesthetic, they save water, money and time. Learn More

Wet to Dry Exchange

Have a favorite big-box-store plant? Chances are, there is a native that can help you achieve its look and have a positive effect on the environment. Learn More

More Palettes

See palettes designed for the natural environment in specific regions and neighborhoods in Los Angeles, tour home and design palettes, and palettes that showcase what is blooming now in LA in Pinterest. See Palettes

Maintenance Schedules

They may be subtle but LA does have seasons that will impact the needs of your hardscapes as well as your foliage. Because they are adapted to the subtleties of these seasons, native plants will have different needs and a different schedule than the plants that commonly comprise big-box-store landscapes. Hardscapes designed to facilitate water flow and absorption will also need care different from rigid concrete.

Here are seasonal checklists to help you keep your authentic garden in top shape: Spring,
Summer, Fall, Winter.

Smart Irrigation

Overhead sprinklers are inefficient, unsightly, rude and outdated. The latest technology delivers just the right amount of water when and where it is needed without spraying the neighbors. It also produces some surprising aesthetic benefits. There are five components of irrigation designed to support authentic LA gardens. Learn More

ROI Calculation

Landscaping can produce priceless positive impacts for human and pet health, the environment, and public infrastructure. It also impacts our budgets! Lush, leafy, low-water authentic native gardens generate significant savings over a traditional landscape, gravel/xeriscape, or synthetic lawn.

Savings can include:

  • 100 percent of the annual flower budget
  • 100 percent of the toxic chemical fertilizer budget
  • 100 percent of the toxic chemical pesticide budget
  • 100 percent of soil amendment budget
  • 81 percent of the time spent on maintenance
  • 75 percent or more of the funds used for mower petrol
  • 60-80 percent of the water previously needed
  • 63 percent of fees associated with garden waste
  • 15-50 percent of the energy dedicated to climate control