Water Wise Landscape

Ecology Action designed this collection of programs to train professional landscapers and homeowners alike in creating low water use, low chemical use, and high habitat-value landscape installations, and lovely water-wise Monterey Bay gardens.


Monterey Bay-Friendly Landscaping & Gardener Certification programs are a collaborative effort between Ecology Action, California Landscape Contractors Association (Central Coast Chapter), Monterey Bay Master Gardeners, and more than 20 public agencies representing water utilities, solid waste and recycling, and stormwater management. The individual programs are:

The Monterey Bay Green Gardener​ Certification Program—Funded by a Prop 13 grant from the State Water Board ​and inspired by the County of Santa Barbara, the Spanish-bilingual Green Gardener program offers a 10-week certification class and continuing-education courses in ​ecological landscape design and maintenance, irrigation-system management, gray-water irrigation, stormwater management, and more.

Monterey Bay Friendly Landscapes—Monterey Bay Friendly Rated Landscapes is a community-based social-marketing campaign that recognizes excellence in sustainable landscape-design, construction, and maintenance practices in the Monterey Bay Area.

Workshops for Home Gardeners—Hands-on educational events offer the beginner and intermediate home gardener ​DIY skills and resources for creating a beautiful, healthy, water-wise Monterey Bay Friendly garden.


The primary goal of the Monterey Bay Friendly programs is to encourage green industry and market transformation toward practices and landscapes that improve water and air quality, increase water efficiency, reduce waste, and provide habitat value. When they have the necessary skills and resources to create beautiful, healthy, and sustainable gardens and landscapes, home gardeners and landscape professionals ​will make management decisions that improve the health of our urban watersheds.


  • Our programs protect water and air quality by maximizing permeable surfaces, minimizing stormwater runoff, using integrated pest management, minimizing the use of synthetic pesticides, avoiding the overuse of fertilizers, reducing fossil-fuel consumption, and planting trees to remove CO2 and absorb air pollutants.
  • The Monterey Bay Green Gardener Certification program was launched in Salinas, Santa Cruz, Monterey, and Watsonville in 2006. Since then, it has graduated ​over 500 landscape professionals who are putting Monterey Bay Friendly sustainable landscaping practices to work every day and leveraging these skills to strengthen their businesses.
  • We have installed and/or certified more than 100 Monterey Bay Friendly Landscapes in Santa Cruz, Monterey, Santa Clara, and San Benito Counties.
  • We have converted more than 2 acres of thirsty, nonfunctional turf grass to climate-appropriate landscaping.