Landscaping for Resilience

Dry weather is normal for California, but most of its urban spaces are landscaped with water-thirsty plants that do not support local biodiversity. Given that California native plants use one seventh of the water used by conventional landscaping (and less energy for transporting and treating that water), it makes sense to landscape native. Landscaping matters because urban areas consume 20% of California’s water: 50-70% of that water is for outdoor use. Also, unlike non-native plants, natives do not require soil amendments, fertilizers, and pesticides, which can contaminate soil, rivers and aquifers and contribute to oceanic dead zones. Finally, native plant have unique relationships with native animals, including butterflies and other pollinators, which rely on them for their survival.

Through a series of free workshops for the public, with minimal fees to the partnering organization, Landscaping for Resilience (LFR) transforms ornamental, water-thirsty landscapes in public spaces into examples of drought-tolerant native landscapes that offer beauty and respite. Through LFR, under the guidance of TPF professionals, the public gains the information and skills to transform their home landscapes.

LFR uses native landscaping as an innovative and underutilized answer to our water and biodiversity crises. LFR provides both environmental and social benefits, demonstrating how communities, government agencies and non-profits can work together to enhance green space and create positive environmental change within Los Angeles County.

LFR projects arise through community initiative. A strong community volunteer base is essential for success – neighbors, local school and faith-based groups, public agencies and neighborhood councils all collaborate to fund, install and maintain the native garden. Based on community input, the Foundation designs a native plant landscape that addresses specific location and usage needs; maintenance information is also provided. Fees vary with the size and complexity of the site. Participants are encouraged to use their project sites for public education through classes, informational signage and workshops – all of which spread knowledge about native plants and create skill sets for landscape change at home.

For more information, please contact Lisa Novick, Director of Outreach, lisa at