Principles

ReScape California promotes a holistic approach to gardening and landscaping that works in harmony with the natural conditions. In the Bay Area, these focus on the San Francisco Bay Watershed through the Bay-Friendly Rated Landscapes Program. Bay-Friendly Rated Landscape practices are based on the following seven principles, which foster soil health, conserve water and other valuable resources while reducing waste and preventing pollution.

7 Principles
of Bay-Friendly
Landscapes

1. Landscape Locally

recognizes that built landscapes are a part of the larger ecosystem of the San Francisco Bay watershed and that they can contribute to it’s health if designed and maintained using sustainable practices

2. Landscape for Less to the Landfill

means that we should reduce waste by choosing the right plants, avoiding invasive plant species, using recycled and salvaged products in the landscape and by composting, mulching and grasscycling plant debris.

3. Nurture the Soil

soils are living ecosystems and when landscape practices allow the soil food web to thrive it can filter pollution, store water, provide plant nutrients, and help plants resist pests naturally.

4. Conserve Water

means using a holistic approach of creating drought resistant soils with compost and mulch, selecting plants naturally adapted to summer-dry climates, using stormwater, greywater and recycled water in the landscape as much as possible and using efficient irrigation systems that include self-adjusting, weather-based controllers.

5. Conserve Energy

by reducing the need for mowing and shearing, by shading buildings and paved areas, using efficient outdoor lighting, and buying local landscape products.

6. Protect Water and Air Quality

through maximizing permeable surfaces and minimizing stormwater runoff, using integrated pest management, minimizing the use of synthetic pesticides and avoiding overuse of fertilizers, reducing fossil fuel consumption, and planting trees to remove CO2 and absorb air pollutants.

7. Create Wildlife Habitat

recognizes that biodiversity is crucial to the health of natural ecosystems and that by using native plants and increasing the diversity of plant palettes, our built landscape can provide food, water and shelter for birds, butterflies, beneficial insects and other creatures.

A Bay-Friendly Rated Landscape

The landscape below illustrates many of the Bay-Friendly Rated Landscape practices guided by the seven principles.

1
Permeable paving on driveway and walkway to front door.
2
Water from roof channeled to cistern
3
Water for wildlife habitat
4
Pavers with spaces and low-water use plants between
5
Front lawn replaced by diverse plantings with many California native ground covers, shrubs  and trees but no invasive species
6
All plants given the space to grow to their natural size
7
Plants selected to match the microclimates
8
Irrigation controller waters hydrozones according to plant needs, soil moisture and weather
9
Deciduous trees placed to the west & southwest of the house for summer cooling
10
Repository for leaves to collect  under trees as mulch
11
Mulched paths keep soil covered
12
Drip irrigation for vegetable beds, shrubs, trees and elsewhere where feasible
13
Raised beds are constructed from plastic or composite lumber
14
Compost bin recycles plant and kitchen debris
15
Evergreen windbreak blocks north winter winds
16
Trees not topped but pruned properly