May 2008 Watershed Highlight of the Month

Los Angeles and San Gabriel Rivers Watershed Council

Above: LASGRWC landscape workshop

.Above: LASGRWC landscape workshop

Above: Plant Profiler.

The May 2008 Watershed Highlight goes to the Los Angeles and San Gabriel Rivers Watershed Council for the implementation of their exceedingly innovative Sustainable Landscape Programs.

Guided by a needs analysis and scoping meetings developed by partners in Watershed Councilís Landscape Ethic Committee, and with a funding commitment from the Department of Conservationís Watershed Coordinator Grant Program, the LASG Watershed Council initiated educational solutions that address water-use-efficiency and ecosystem restoration needs of the Councilís diverse stakeholders. Here is a quick look at a couple of their highly educational programs.

Similar to efforts throughout the state, the Los Angeles River Master Plan and the San Gabriel River Master Plan promote the design, installation and maintenance of water efficient landscapes which include the use of drought tolerant and native plants. Drew Ready, the Councilís watershed coordinator, developed the PlantProfiler website - a searchable native plant information and image database. Each plant profile has ten attributes, four images, and a scale drawing. The database is searchable by multiple characteristics that ensure designers and architects find the right plant for the right place. The database will be updated in the coming year to include an additional 100 plants and species specific maintenance information.

To further contribute to landscape architectsí and project managers' familiarity with the nuances of designing and managing native landscapes, Drew programmed a biannual series of Sustainable Landscape Design Seminars, targeted at planners and landscape design, build and maintenance professionals. These one day seminars provide a comprehensive overview of successful sustainable landscape design and management practices. Topics included designing storm water runoff BMPs, California Friendly landscapes, using native plants for public space, invasive plant control, maintenance manual design, contract growing, water conservation/efficiency rebate programs, and sustainable landscape case studies. The first two years of the program included 160 participants.

With a renewed commitment from the Department of Conservation to fund Drewís watershed coordinator role for the Los Angeles River, the Watershed Council is looking forward to many more successful sustainable landscape programs.

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