Landscape for less to the Landfill
- Invasive plant species websites:
- CalRecycle household composting information
- A demonstration on how to build a retaining wall from recycled concrete
- ANSI A300-(Part 1)-2001: Tree Care Operations is available for purchase
- Information on using goats and sheep for controlling weeds and creating firebreaks
- For sheep grazing
- For goat grazing
- To find or offer salvaged materials visit California Integrated Waste Management Board’s (CIWMB) CalMax website or:
- To purchase salvaged materials contact or visit:
Nurture the Soil
- Guidelines on creating and implementing a Soil Management Plan can be downloaded from Washington Organic Recycling Council’s Building Soil website
- The US Composting Council describes its Seal of Testing Assurance program for ensuring quality compost
- For listings of compost and mulch producers visit CalRecycle for specifications on using compost, download Compost Use for Landscape and Environmental Enhancement.
- For a description on soil compaction, how to prevent it, and how to fix it, visit theColorado Master Gardeners Program webpage
- Compost made from Mendocino County yard waste is available for purchase from C & S Solutions at the Ukiah Transfer Station
- A comprehensive guide to the sheet mulch process can be found at Lawn to Garden
- Rolls of recycled cardboard can be purchased for sheet mulching
- A video demonstration of how to grasscycle
- Information on compost tea:
- For information and equipment to brew compost tea:
- The California Friendly® maintenance guide will help you create sustainable gardens that rely on less water.
- Saveourwater.com suggests immediate actions to take that could be instrumental in protecting local creeks, such as information on ways to
- The California Department of Water Resources has information on water supply and demand.
- The California Urban Water Conservation Council offers a variety of services and information, including product news and technical resources.
- California Irrigation Management Information System (CIMIS) website, operated by the California Department of Water Resources (DWR), provides evapotranspiration and other climate-related data.
- The Irrigation Association is a national membership organization which provides information and education on irrigation equipment and water management practices.
- The Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper (QWEL) Program is a WaterSense labeled professional certification program in irrigation systems auditing.
- A resource that lists the water requirements of virtually all garden plants in California: the Water Use Classification of Landscape Species (WUCOLS) report
- Residents interested in graywater systems can access information in the County of Sonoma’s Frequently Asked Questions about Graywater and the Mendocino County Guide to Graywater Reuse and Disposal.
- Local water districts often offer information on water conservation, landscape audits or audit/water budget training. Contact your water supplier or check the following websites:
- City of Cloverdale
- City of Cotati
- City of Healdsburg
- Mendocino County Water Agency
- City of Rohnert Park
- City of Santa Rosa
- City of Sebastopol
- Sonoma County Water Agency (for areas in Unincorporated Sonoma County)
- City of Ukiah
- Town of Windsor
- Additional information for those interested in pursuing long term solutions, such as off-stream storage, habitat restoration, and projects that release flow instream from storage or groundwater during critical dry periods, can be found on this North Coast Conservation outreach flyer.
- PG&E offers information on reducing energy consumption.
- The US Forest Service’s Urban and Community Forestry Website offers free fact sheets on maximizing the benefits of the urban forest, as well as many reports on their costs and benefits.
- The International Dark Sky Association has a list of approved light fixtures that reduce light pollution.
- Sonoma Clean Power provides Sonoma County customers cleaner energy sources.
- Sonoma County Energy Independence Program provides resources, rebates, incentives, contractors, and financing options to help property owners save energy, save money, and live comfortably.
Protect Water and Air Quality
- Mendocino County Water Agency Storm Water Management Program
- Sonoma County Storm Water Program
- City of Santa Rosa Storm Water Program
- The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) offers information about safe pesticide use.
- Bio-Integral Resource Center (BIRC) offers the IPM Practitioner and Common Sense Pest Control Quarterly.
- Environmentally-friendly pest management solutions for hundreds of pests of garden and landscape plants, including an interactive guide for healthy lawns, is available from the UC Statewide IPM Program.
- The Seattle Public Utilities offers free Pro IPM Fact Sheets.
- For information on pesticides, water quality, fact sheets (including lawn care), and less toxic alternatives, visit the Our Water Our World website.
- To look up impacts of active ingredients in pesticides visit the Pesticide Action Network (PAN) Pesticide Database.
- Information on the hazards of lawn chemicals
- A porous pavement fact sheet is available from the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection
- For information on installing nest boxes visit the Hungry Owl Project.
Create and Protect Wildlife Habitat
- Information on California Oaks is available from the California Oak Foundation.
- Information on Sudden Oak Death is available from the California Oak Mortality Task Force.
- The California Native Grasslands Association is an excellent resource for landscaping with native grasses.
- The Wildlife Habitat Council provides information on how landscapes can provide habitat.
- For information on fostering wildlife habitat for pest control in landscapes visit the Hungry Owl Project
- The National Wildlife Federation’s Garden for Wildlife offers tips to create a sustainable garden that helps wildlife.
February 7, 2023
In 2023, RRWA hosted a one-day in-person event, The Garden Sink: Practical Practices to Capture Rainwater and Carbon in an Urban Setting!
The day’s discussion centered around practical practices to capture rainwater, carbon, and greater potential in urban landscapes.
The presentations are provided below:
- Introductions / Opening Address – Obi Kaufmann
- Session 1– Rebecca Burgess
- Where Carbon Flows Water Goes (Incentivizing Resiliency in our Farms and Gardens–Unlocking opportunities in adapting our landscapes)
- Local Resources – lightning talks
- Benefits of Compost and Available Rebates Xinci Tan, Zero Waste Sonoma
- Russian River Rainwater Catchment Systems Jessica Pollitz , Sonoma RCD
- Session 2 KEYNOTE – Brad Lancaster
- Leveraging Rainwater, Carbon, & Ourselves to Grow Greater Potential and Health
- Purchase new full-color, revised editions of Brad’s books at a deep discount. Click here to view a flyer with QR code
- Panel – Where the shovel meets the soil: Best Practical Practices
- Construct and Maintain Garden Sink Landscapes
- Business Cases (Obstacles/Challenges and Opportunities to Maintaining Landscapes)
Patrick Picard, Equinox Landscape
Sierra Hart, Allen Land Design
Moderated by Sebastian Bertsch
Leveraging Wetlands for a Better Climate Future | San Francisco Estuary Institute (sfei.org)
Global Climate Solution App | Landscape Carbon Calculator (calccarbon.com)
February 2 and 3, 2021
In 2021, RRWA hosted a two-day online event, Rehydrating the Russian River Watershed: Moving Towards Regenerative Landscapes!
The presentation recordings are provided below:
Day One – February 2 Presentation by keynote speaker Didi Pershouse, founder of the Land and Leadership Initiative, and author of Understanding Soil Health and Watershed Function; and The Ecology of Care: Medicine, Agriculture, Money, and the Quiet Power of Human and Microbial Communities for a deep dive participatory workshop on whole-systems thinking about landscape function.
Day Two – February 3 Presentation by renowned Australian microbiologist and climate scientist Walter Jehne offers examples of successes from around the world in rehydration of landscapes, restoring regional rainfall, and flood, drought, and wildfire prevention.
- Fact sheets on Land and Leadership Initiative website
- Article: Other Species are Essential Workers, Whose Economies Enfold Our Own
- Video: Fire vs Fungi: our choice to naturally cool the planet and in time
- Manual: Understanding Soil Health and Watershed Function
December 11, 2019
In 2019, RRWA held a Regional Low Impact Development (LID) Manual Training focused on updating design engineers on the most recent version and requirements for the Regional LID Manual. The presentation is provided below:
February 6, 2019
In 2019, RRWA presented “Planting Resilience: Stories, Science, and Strategies,” a Russian River-Friendly Landscaping event focused on the stories of the October 2017 fires, science of how fires move through structures, the importance of soil health, plant selection, wildlife, and firescaping, and rebuild. as a whole. The program, resource guide, and available presentations are provided below:
“Russian River-Friendly Landscaping Program Overview” by Andy Rodgers, RRWA
“Home Survival in Wildfire Prone Areas” by Steve Quarles, UCCE Advisor Emeritus, Retired Chief Scientist at IBHS
“Soil Health” by Jennifer de Graaf, Landscape Architect, de Graaf Associates
“Plant (De)Selection & Firescaping” by Scott Sherman, ReScape
“Wildscaping” by Veronica Bowers, Native Songbird Care & Conservation – Information Handout Coming Soon!
“Firescaping” by Douglas Kent, Best-Selling Author, Speaker, Consultant
“Rebuilding Landscapes” by Anne Baker, Ann Baker Landscape Architecture (Part 1 and Part 2)
“Landscape Design Template Implementation” by Deb Lane, City of Santa Rosa
“Rainwater in Residential Gardens” by Froste Wistrom, Sherwood Design Engineers
April 24, 2017
RRWA co-hosted “LID Training for the Design Community”, which included an overview of changes to the LID Manual, how to use the updated LID Calculator, and timing for new requirements. The program and available presentations are provided below:
“Storm Water Low Impact Development (LID): New requirements, tools, and submittal review training for the design professional” by Heaven Moore, City of Santa Rosa
January 24, 2017
In 2017, RRWA presented “Supply in the Sky: Stormwater as a Resource,” a Russian River-Friendly Landscaping event focused on the beneficial use of stormwater in the landscape. The program and available presentations are provided below:
“Russian River-Friendly Landscaping Program Overview and Update” by Andy Rodgers, RRWA
“Atmospheric Rivers and California Water” by Angelique Fabbiani-Leon, California Department of Water Resources
“Hydropower: Stormwater as a Renewing Resource” by Sebastian Bertsch, Permaculture Artisans
“Green Infrastructure is only as Good as the Landscape Maintenance” by Sean McNeil, City of Santa Rosa
“Planting the Rain: Principles, Practices, and Tips for Water-Harvesting Earthworks and Rain Gardens” by Brad Lancaster, www.HarvestingRainwater.com
January 28, 2015
In 2015, RRWA held an event which featured inspiring applications of the Russian River-Friendly Landscape Guidelines. This event focused on “Stewarding our Water Resources” in response to water supply conditions and on landscaping planning for ongoing water-use reduction efforts. The event program featured keynote speaker Art Ludwig and a distinguished panel of experts. Below are PDFs of available presentations from the event:
“RRFLG program overview and update” by RRWA staff
“Water Supply Update” by Brad Sherwood of Sonoma County Water Agency
“Creating drought-resistant soils” by Will Bakx of Sonoma Compost & SRJC
“Drought Tolerant plantings” by Kate Frey of Kate Frey Sustainable Gardens
“Design and manage irrigation according to plant needs” by Kris Loomis of Wyatt Irrigation Co. & Mendocino College
“Lawn Removal” by Susan Foley, Garden Sense Coordinator of Sonoma County Master Gardeners
January 29, 2013
In 2013, RRWA held an event to promote the principles and practices of Russian River-Friendly Landscaping. Attendees had the opportunity to participate in a “World Café”-style interactive brainstorming session on how to improve and promote the program throughout the watershed. The event also featured presentations by landscape professionals and community leaders, table resources, and a demonstration garden tour. The agenda, presentations, and World Café Summary are provided below:
“Seven Principles of ‘Friendly Landscaping” by Gretchen Schubeck
“RRWA Interactive Map and New RRFLG Sign” by Virginia Porter and Andy Rodgers
“Ecological Grading Techniques For Stormwater Management in the Landscape” by Rick Taylor
“Principles and Practices in Action” by Sierra Hart
November 16, 2010
In 2010, RRWA launched the Russian River-Friendly Landscape Guidelines at an inspiring workshop with speakers and vendors that showed how the Guidelines work in the Russian River watershed. The agenda and presentations are provided below:
Stopwaste.org Cynthia Havstad
Sonoma Mountain Landscape John Kopshever
Sustainable Landscape Certificate Program Kate Frey
Occidental Arts & Ecology Center Water Institute Brock Dolman