I Am TreePeople : Carrie Wassenaar


“We could make a huge impact,” Carrie Wassenaar says, reflecting on simple steps people can take at home to grow a green LA. Carrie is a shining example of an Angeleno taking action.

A transplant from the midwest, Carrie’s love for nature started young. “My mother was huge into gardening,” she recalled. Even after 18 years in Los Angeles, she misses the rich, green surroundings of her hometown. But as she’s set down roots here in the city, she’s incorporated elements of her childhood upbringing into her routine.Read more >>

Be a Leader. Install a Rain Tank!


Would you believe that this diagram represents what you can capture with just one inch of rain? Pretty impressive, huh?

Capturing stormwater is rapidly becoming part of the new LA lifestyle. After all, why use drinking water on your yard when you can harvest the rain for FREE? But before you make a purchase, do your research. It may be in your best interest to hire a landscape contractor to offer guidance tailored to your needs.

First, ask yourself these TWO questions to determine if this is a simple DIY project or if it’s time to call in a contractor.Read more >>

Is Los Angeles Ready For El Nino?


El Niño is likely to be heading our way this winter, bringing upwards of 30 inches of rain to Los Angeles. So, the drought is essentially over—right? Wrong.

Well, that is, unless we prepare properly.

Unfortunately, as the climate shifts, we can expect to see drought and floods as two sides of the same coin. As we adapt to this new norm, we can expect both drier conditions and more severe storms. Unless we adopt new habits, like learning to responsibly capture those drops, we can expect drought conditions to continue.… Read more >>

Mulch Now, Plant Later


Did you know California residents use more than 50% of our drinking water to water their yards?

It’s true! In fact, a 1,000 square foot lawn with an average sprinkler system uses about 25,000 gallons of water per year. In the midst of a historic drought, that’s precious water we simply can’t afford to waste!

Luckily, the drought is teaching us to use our resources more wisely—to let our lawns go golden, while still watering our trees — and to plant water wise natives at home.… Read more >>

El Niño May Be Around the Corner. Are You Prepared?


El Niño may be around the corner come this fall’s rainy season, and scientists are predicting even greater storms than 1997—which flooded Southern California. After four years of severe drought, that is welcome news!

However, it’s important to ensure we’re prepared to capture the stormwater and store it responsibly. Any rainwater harvesting system starts with rain gutters and downspouts. With summer upon us, we’re here to help you get ready for fall – and what may fall from the sky. This is the perfect time to tidy up and ensure that all your elements are in good shape.… Read more >>

The Artifice of Artificial Turf

Dominic Alves via Flickr Creative Commons

You may have been hearing a lot of praise for fake grass in the media lately, but I’m here to set the record straight: Fake turf does more harm than good.

I’m not sure when I started hating artificial grass. Maybe it was when my beloved grandmother planted fake flowers in her garden beds so the Easter photos would “turn out nice.” For the record, I tried to pick them, and everyone laughed at us.


But I think it has to do more with the sheer fact that fake grass, or it’s trendier name—frass—has no place in a sustainable landscape.… Read more >>

How This LA Couple Replaced Their Lawn with Drought Tolerant Plants & Mulch

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Husband and wife Mark Rinaldi and Debbie Imsland have long been interested in sustainability. At home, they were conscientious about conserving water, taking care not to water the lawn too often or stay in the shower too long.

But it wasn’t until Debbie attended one of our Rainwater Harvesting Workshops that they considered making some major changes to their Gardena home. It started when they installed rain barrels in their yard, but it wasn’t long until they turned to their lawn.… Read more >>