State and Local Climate and Energy Program
Expanding River-Friendly Landscaping Practices to Reduce Greenhouse Gases
Sacramento County, California
Federal Funding: $486,668
Project Timeline: February 2010 – December 2012
Sacramento County continues to reduce greenhouse gases, water use, and waste through greener landscape practices. The River-Friendly Landscaping (RFL) Benefits Calculator , which calculates greenhouse gas emission reductions, is available online. The County launched a media campaign and is coordinating with Green Gardeners to develop and refine its marketing strategy. The County completed the final draft of the River-Friendly Landscaping (RFL) standards for urban parks and integrated the standards into training classes. The County began the Fall 2012 Green Gardener training classes and has continued to develop promotional materials, media stories, and community events to help market the program and its graduates. Lastly, the County held community workshops on RFL principles, including composting, pruning, and mulching. Upcoming activities include continuing outreach about the RFL Benefits Calculator and beginning to compile greenhouse gas reports based on data compiled from the RFL Benefits calculator.
Facilitating Green Landscaping Practices in New Development and Urban Parks to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Sacramento County is implementing the River Friendly Landscaping (RFL) Program as a comprehensive approach to sustainable urban landscapes, and to protect the region's threatened water supplies. The County's project incorporates greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions benefits into the existing RFL framework, resulting in greenhouse gas emissions reductions and achieving several other environmental and public health benefits. This project is:
- developing a tool for evaluating the greenhouse gas reductions that result from RFL,
- establishing RFL standards for urban parks,
- expanding a "Green Gardener" training program, and
- promoting RFL to the public.
Sacramento County established the RFL Program to encourage the sustainable design and maintenance of urban landscapes. Four of the RFL priority areas have a direct impact on GHG emissions:
- energy conservation
- water conservation
- air and water quality protection, and
- waste reduction.
This project expands the existing RFL program by integrating greenhouse gas impacts into the guidelines. The project first developed a simple tool to quantify the environmental and economic benefits of using RFL practices. Second, the project will develop RFL standards for park design and maintenance. Parks staff will receive RFL training, and implement multiple demonstration projects. Third, the project is supporting "green collar" job training by expanding the Green Gardener training program. Finally, the project will launch a promotional campaign for the public to adopt RFL practices, including outreach publicity, workshops, a training program, and educational materials.
The project will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 10,350 metric tons CO2e annually through lower water consumption, and this figure is expected increase once the benefits for municipal landscapes are assessed. Other benefits include a reduction in vehicle miles traveled, reduced solid waste generation, and heat island mitigation. Additional water will also be available for hydroelectric generation as a result. The project will have long-lasting benefits, will build partnerships across multiple stakeholder groups, and will be easily replicable in other communities.
|Area||995 square miles|
|Community Type||Metropolitan region|
|Median Household Income||$57,800|
|Reported Results (as of September 2012)||Projected Cumulative Results|
|Annual GHG Reductions||0 mt CO2e||10,350 mt CO2e|
|Annual Waste Reductions||0 tons||6,156 tons|
- River-Friendly Landscaping
- River-Friendly Landscaping Documents for Download
- River-Friendly Landscaping Green Gardener Training Program
- Turf Demonstration Project
- Carson Landscape Gets Green , 7/2/2012
- University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program's Green Bulletin (PDF) , (6 pp, 1.8M, About PDF) 11/2011
- Water-wise, River-friendly and Lush , 7/23/2011
- Sacramento County Gets Water Conservation Grant , 3/31/2010
- From Durham to Sacramento, Cities Get Help With 'Climate Showcase' Projects , 3/3/2010
- Congresswoman Matsui, Local Elected Officials Announce $500k in EPA Funding for Sacramento County , 3/31/2010