In June 2014 the City of Pleasanton replaced a large, seldom used lawn around its administration buildings with an attractive landscape that needs about 90% less irrigation, provides bird and pollinator habitat, and reduces maintenance costs. The renovated landscape, which is planted primarily with California native species, serves as a model for residents who want to learn about lawn alternatives. City staff sheet mulched the lawn in place, using layers of recycled cardboard and local, recycled compost and mulch. These materials, along with the decomposing turf, add organic matter relieving soil compaction and creating soil that simultaneously holds more water AND improves drainage. This project saves 387,000 gallons of water per year, reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 10 tons, and by sheet mulching the lawn in place avoided sending 16.5 tons of sod to the landfill.
Size: 8,300 sq. ft. • Property owner: City of Pleasanton • Design: Sarah Hosterman, City of Pleasanton • Landscape contractor: Kerri Landscape Services • Photos: Emily Hagopian • Location: 123 Main Street, Pleasanton, CA