In 2011, Harbor Bay Business Park sheet mulched 2.5 acres of conventional turf medians and updated the planting with summer-dry adapted grasses and perennials. Installing subsurface drip irrigation solved the windy site’s chronic overspray problem, a major source of water waste that also accelerated deterioration of the asphalt. To improve water-holding capacity in the site's sandy soil, the landscape architect specified one inch of compost on top of turf, followed by two layers cardboard, one more inch compost, and finally 2 inches of mulch on top. The attention to soil health and appropriate planting and irrigaition combined to reduce water use by nearly two-thirds, saving 9 million gallons in the past three years. This landscape renovation reduced maintenance by 25%, saves $47,000/year in water costs, reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 136 tons, and sheet mulching the turf in place kept 221 tons of sod out of the landfill. This Bay-Friendly Rated project also has inspired neighboring business parks to update their landscapes!
Size: 2.5 acres • Property management: Harbor Bay Business Park Association/GS Management Company • Landscape architect: April Philips Design Works • Landscape contractor: Cagwin & Dorward • Location: Harbor Bay Parkway, Alameda, CA (from Ron Cowan Parkway to Bay Edge Rd) • Accessible to the public.