Certified Watershed Wise Landscape Professionals Turn Treatment Control BMPS into a Landscaping New Norm
The recent addition of the watershed approach to landscaping and rainwater capture into the California Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance as a response to the ongoing drought shows a shift in the role of landscape in both conserving and creating more local water through the retention of rainwater onsite. The efficient use of water in landscapes goes beyond ‘irrigation’. Rainwater capture and earthworks are not as well understood as irrigation systems, resulting in a knowledge and experience gap for the general landscape workforce. By combining the USEPA Watershed Wise Landscape Professional Certification with two landscape and Low Impact Development (LID) BMP management programs from DC Water and the Chesapeake Bay’s Center for Watershed Protection creates a full spectrum training for filling this gap and engaging the general public.
This presentation will discuss the shift in the way Californians view landscaping, converting landscapes into rain water harvesting devices, for private investment in stormwater Treatment Control BMPs (TCBMPs). The program moves beyond conservation to address the state’s water efficiency requirements. Combining professional landscape training with property owner outreach, applying the watershed approach on existing landscapes and in lawn retrofits can shift public perception of landscapes as a stormwater solution. Landscape maintenance must shift from janitorial to regenerative and recognize and improve upon the BMPs utilized in the watershed approach e.g.: swales, rain barrels, curb cuts, in order to ensure their sustained efficacy.
The presentation will describe a path forward, beyond ‘turf replacement’ programs, into workforce development and the watershed approach to landscaping, including:
Education & training on retrofitting or installing new ‘sustainable’ landscapes
Long-term maintenance training
New businesses & job descriptions focused on watershed health
Public engagement in watershed health through general landscaping practices, and
Meeting compliance by using the landscapes as a TCBMP
Overview of programs
Soil health & maintenance
Future of landscaping
Engage audience to discuss how this will fit in their jurisdiction, their agency, with compliance?
The audience will learn how to create an integrated outreach and professional training and certification program that fits the requirements of their region, focusing on how stormwater literacy can be brought to the general public, and how a more engaged society invests in and advocates for green infrastructure. Landscape professionals and their clients can help shift the mindset of a community to a more pro-green infrastructure one, alleviating the “heavy-lifting” messaging from agencies, municipalities, and NGO’s.
Each attendee will be provided a San Diego Sustainable Landscapes Guidelines and Beverly Hills Garden Book: A Watershed Approach to Landscaping in Beverly Hills to follow along with the coursework. Additionally, those who are available the evening of Tuesday, September 13 will be invited to attend a Watershed Wise Landscape Training class at no charge. The presentation is 30 minutes, with the remaining time allotted for active dialogue with the audience about how the certification program, and tailoring it for their particular agency requirements.
The conference theme is supported by describing how rainwater is retained in soil and devices as a resource to meet landscape water requirements and create a new local water supply. The “sponge gardens” resulting from this professional training and property owner outreach, capture the 1st flush and function as a TCBMP with stormwater benefits such as volume and pollutant load removal. Landscapes will be developed healthier and more resilient to climate variables. Private investment in these stormwater retaining landscapes and the workforce that manages them encourages like behavior in other places besides the landscape.