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7 Principles of Monterey Bay-Friendly Landscaping & Gardening

1. Landscape Locally; recognizes that built landscapes are a part of the larger ecosystem of the Monterey 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 & 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.

Monterey Bay-Friendly Landscaping Programs

Monterey Bay-Friendly Landscaping & Gardening programs are a collaborative effort between Ecology Action, CA Landscape Contractors Association (Central Coast Chapter), Ecological Landscaping Association, Monterey Bay Master Gardeners, Surfrider Foundation, Resource Conservation Districts, and more than 20 public agencies representing water utilities, solid waste and recycling, stormwater management. The primary goal of Monterey Bay-Friendly Programs is to encourage behavior changes that lessen the impact of conventional landscape practices on the local environment by providing home gardeners, landscape professionals, and local governments with the necessary skills and resources to create beautiful, healthy, and sustainable gardens, and landscapes.


Monterey Bay Green Gardener Certification Program

M4034S-4211Funded by a Prop 13 grant from the State Water Board, The Monterey Bay Green Gardener Certification program launched in Salinas, Santa Cruz, Monterey, and Watsonville in 2006. Since then, it has graduated nearly 500 landscape professionals who are putting Monterey Bay Friendly sustainable landscaping practices to work every day.

The bilingual Green Gardener program offers a 10-week certification level class, and continuing education courses in greywater irrigation, stormwater management, irrigation efficiency, and more. Classes are taught by industry experts and graduates are publicly listed for hire. Click here for more information about starting a Green Gardener certification program in your area or attending an upcoming training.


Monterey Bay-Friendly Rated Landscapes

MBFyardsignMonterey Bay-Friendly Rated Landscapes is a rating system that recognizes excellence in sustainable landscape design, construction and maintenance practices in the Monterey Bay Area.

This voluntary, third-party verified rating system applies to new construction or renovations of civic, commercial, institutional, single-family residential and multifamily property landscapes. It provides property owners and landscape professionals with a regionally consistent framework for creating healthy, environmentally sound landscapes. Property owners and landscape industry professionals that design and maintain a landscape to Monterey Bay Friendly standards are provided public recognition, educational signage and incentives. Click here for more information on Monterey Bay Friendly Landscape Certification.


Workshops for Home Gardeners

Educational events hosted at local nurseries and community centers offer the beginner and intermediate home gardener tools for creating a beautiful and healthy Monterey Bay-Friendly garden. Water-wise gardening talks include valuable design information, hands-on demonstrations, and drawings for garden gifts at the end of each talk. Click here for a schedule of upcoming events.


The Bay-Friendly program was initially developed in Alameda County by StopWaste.Org. Click here to go to StopWaste.Org’s website.

Funding for the waterboardlogoMonterey Bay Friendly Landscaping Program has been provided in full or in part through an agreement with the State Water Resources Control Board. The contents of this webpage do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the State Water Resources Control Board, nor does mention of trade names or commercial products constitute endorsement or recommendation for use.