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 >>

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


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 >>

School and Community Rally to Replace Playground Asphalt with 30 New Shade Trees

Students, teachers, and other members of the school’s community gather around a new tree.

On Saturday, March 14, 20th Street Elementary School’s campus, located just south of downtown Los Angeles’ Fashion District, was transformed. Over 100 volunteers, TreePeople staff and partners came together and planted 30 Raywood Ash, Australian Willow and Crape Myrtle trees on a formerly bleak asphalt schoolyard. Despite the heat, the day was electric with excitement for the future of the school and the knowledge that the campus is soon to be a more shaded, healthy and green environment for the students and community.… Read more >>

7 Reasons to Volunteer In the Angeles National Forest


Only a massive effort by TreePeople volunteers makes it possible to replant and restore the fire-damaged areas of the Angeles National Forest.

1. You’ll help restore the forest’s pristine beauty.

Angeles Forest Restoration

In 2009, 161,000 acres (approximately 25%) of the Angeles National Forest was destroyed by fire stripping the forests of Manzanita, sumac, sycamore and pine trees. 11,000 of those acres burned too deep for the forest to recover through natural processes.

Since then, working with the U.S. Forest Service, we’ve relied on volunteers to care for new saplings and help plant new trees while the soil conditions and temperature are optimal.… Read more >>

Getting Drought Smart: The Drought Solutions Tour as Inspiration


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


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


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 >>