Skip the Artificial Turf: The Value of Native Plants and the Truth About Fake Grass

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For decades Angelenos have maintained an image of the perfect suburban yard. We imagine homes with neatly trimmed hedges, colorful flower beds beneath the windows and a lush, green, well-manicured lawn rolling right up to the front door.

The perpetuation of this image has skewed our sense of natural beauty. Not only is that ideal simply not sustainable in our climate, but in order to achieve it people sometimes turn to what they think is a good alternative: artificial turf. In other words, fake grass.… Read more >>

Getting Drought Smart: The Drought Solutions Tour as Inspiration

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Native plant species, rain chains, drip irrigation – and what on Earth is decomposed granite? In my quest for more information on the drought Los Angeles is facing and what I can do at home to cut water usage, I looked to TreePeople’s Drought Solutions Tour and Native Plant Walk, which is one of many resources available in Los Angeles for learning how to create a sustainable city.

This past Saturday I rose bright and early, grabbed a smoothie and headed to TreePeople’s Coldwater Canyon Park.… Read more >>

How to Kill Your Lawn

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Now that we’re in the depths of the drought, LADWP is offering $3 per square foot for turf replacement. Since some 50% of our water goes to landscaping, ripping out your lawn is one of the best ways you can conserve water.

How do you go about killing your lawn? Well, the easiest and best way to reduce your turf is sheet mulching. With sheet mulching, your yard can go from a water-thirsty, outdated green shag carpet to a sustainable garden with about as much effort as it takes to mow the lawn.… Read more >>

Fighting Drought One Lawn at a Time: LADWP’s Cash In Your Lawn Program

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One hundred percent of California is now in a severe drought, and Los Angeles County is even worse off, classified by the United States Drought Monitor  as in “extreme drought” conditions. Now, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) is calling on Angelenos to do their part to conserve water—and as an incentive, they’ve upped their turf replacement rebate from $2 per square foot to $3.… Read more >>

Volunteers in Action: Topanga Creek Restoration

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Nearly every weekend, TreePeople and our volunteers head up into the Santa Monica Mountains to restore the natural landscape. Through our Mountain Restoration programs, we revegetate the ecosystem—planting a full spectrum of native plants from wildflowers to trees in order to restore the biological function of the land—and remove invasive species so that plants, animals, and people can thrive.… Read more >>

Coast Live Oak Falls Prey to Gophers

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You know it’s dry when gophers start taking down trees.

Why is that? Well, normally tree roots make up part of your standard gopher diet. They’ll tunnel down to a tree’s root ball, chow down for a little while, and then move on. But as long as they only eat part of the roots – which is usually how it goes – the tree can still get plenty of nutrients and water from the soil, so it remains healthy. … Read more >>