Benefits of Bay-Friendly Rated
It’s not a secret that landscapes that are rated by ReScape California are both beautiful and sustainable. In fact, growing numbers of property owners, tenants, and concerned citizens are becoming aware of the unintended consequences of conventional landscaping practices. These include excessive or inappropriate irrigation that wastes money and water, overuse of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides, and the noise, energy, labor and waste involved in mowing, blowing, trimming, and disposing of plant debris.
Bay-Friendly Rated provides a clear and quantifiable path to healthier landscapes.
It’s a flexible, systematic process that property owners and their landscape teams can use to create landscapes that look great, serve their intended purpose, and solve rather than contribute to environmental problems.
2015 California Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance Compliance
In response to the drought conditions in California, Governer Brown issued an Executive Order directing the Department of Water Resources to update the 2010 State’s Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance (WELO) through expedited regulation. The revised 2015 WELO broadens the intent of WELO from water efficiency to include a more comprehensive approach to sustainable landscaping as well as significantly reducing the amount of water allocated to each projects water budget.
Version 4 of the Bay-Friendly Rated Scorecard and the Bay-Friendly Rating Manual underwent a thorough review and update to include the 2015 WELO requirements. It is not the intent of the Bay-Friendly Rating program to replace WELO, but instead to reinforce many of the state’s requirements. In addition, the newly required Credit F.9: Meet your local CA WELO has been added to ensure that all Bay-Friendly Rated projects are in full compliance with the state’s ordinace.
The Bay-Friendly Rating system provides training, tools, and enforcement of CA WELO practices furthering understanding and implementation of the State requirements.
In addition, Bay-Friendly Rated Landscapes go above and beyond the state ordinance to create healthy, high-performance landscapes that create habitat, reduce maintenance, save energy, and reduce waste.
Read more about the CA WELO by visiting the Department of Water Resource’s website.
Property Owners Benefit from a Bay-Friendly Rating
Here are some of the benefits property owners are enjoying thanks to embracing the Bay-Friendly Rating process:
- Cost Savings. Owners of Bay-Friendly Rated Landscapes often see reduction in landscape maintenance labor of 30% to 70% compared to existing conventional landscapes thanks to practices like using recycled compost and mulch, grasscycling, and selecting right-sized, site-appropriate plantings. In addition, typical Bay-Friendly Rated Landscapes use 50% to 90% less water than existing conventional landscapes. Bay-Friendly practices can also reduce the use of energy and cut costs and risks associated with the use of potentially harmful pesticides, herbicides and synthetic fertilizers.
- Environmental Solutions. Compared to existing conventional landscapes, Bay-Friendly Rated Landscapes reduce greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 117 metric tons per acre. That’s equal to taking about 22.4 passenger cars off the road. Bay-Friendly Rated Landscapes typically achieve a 70% to 80% reduction in stormwater runoff compared to existing conventional landscapes, which reduces flooding and erosion and helps comply with local stormwater management regulations. Bay-Friendly practices create drought-resistant soils, reduce and recycle waste, keep pesticides and fertilizers off the ground, and provide healthy habitats for people, plants, pets, birds, pollinators and other beneficial insects.
- Recognition. A Bay-Friendly Rating shows that a property owner cares about the health of the community and the environment. Owners of Bay-Friendly Rated Landscapes are authorized to install signs indicating their property’s Bay-Friendly Rated status and can use the Bay-Friendly Rated Landscape logo in their marketing material.
- Compliance Facilitation. Many credits in the Bay-Friendly Rated Scorecard align with or can contribute to earning credits in the GreenPoint Rated and LEED green building rating systems. Bay-Friendly Rated can also help in complying with local, state and federal water efficiency and stormwater requirements.
- Quality Assurance. The Bay-Friendly Rating process includes verification by a trained Bay-Friendly Rater. Landscapes may be either Third-Party Rated or In-House Rated. Both types of rating hold an equal status as a Rated Landscape and receive oversight by ReScape California. This process gives property owners and the landscape project team confidence that the design will meet specific environmental goals.