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 >>

I Am Tree People: Art Salter


If you saw Art Salter at TreePeople’s Yurt Village, you might assume he was a celebrity. Not a minute passed without someone stopping to shake his hand, or wave from across the offices. It was clear that he has made a significant impact on his city.

It makes sense: Art has been volunteering here for nearly 18 years—but that isn’t where things began. No, Art has always been involved in developing a climate-resilient Los Angeles. “I grew up here,” he said.… Read more >>

Integrated Water Management: A Framework for Collaborative Governance


Increasing Agency Collaboration for a Better Water Future

For the past two decades, TreePeople has been advocating for Los Angeles’ watersheds to be managed in a more integrated way. Our recent report, Moving Towards Collaboration: A New Vision for Water Management, lays out a path to achieve this and overcome common barriers to implementation.

After researching examples of integrated management from around the world, we developed a framework, focused on stormwater, as a resource for agencies and other leaders to consider future approaches that could positively impact their organizations and work.… Read more >>

I Am TreePeople: Janie Thompson


Without the hard work of community, we couldn’t do what we do. This month, we’re spotlighting a volunteer whose love of trees lead her to water. Meet Janie Thompson, TreePeople Citizen Arborist and advocate for water conservation, whose home has been called a model of water conservation practices by LA Councilmember Paul Koretz and the LADWP.

When Janie moved to LA in the 1980s, she was amazed at the variety of plants and trees that would grow here. “Had I been given that knowledge [which plants are climate-appropriate] that would have been so valuable,” she says now, but back then she planted on her Encino property without much regard for the local climate.… Read more >>

On the Horizon: Collaborative Solutions to LA’s Water Crises


TreePeople Releases Two Promising New Reports

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This historic drought is driving a thirst for solutions, and government agencies are responding with an openness to work together as never before. Over the past year, TreePeople has facilitated an exciting exploration of “collaborative governance” among agencies for innovative water management in the Los Angeles region. Our partners in this effort are the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, the City of Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation, and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works.… 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 >>

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 >>