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Success Stories

Albany Civic Center

When the City of Albany renovated the grounds of its Civic Center, they used sheet mulch and compost to naturally improve soil quality, helping create a Bay-Friendly landscape that's healthier for plants and people.


  • Compost and natural fertilizer amendments tilled in 8 inches
  • Sheet mulch used to establish new planting areas and suppress weeds without herbicides
  • Water-saving drip irrigation system installed with weather-based controller
  • Plants grouped by water needs to conserve water and improve plant health
  • No turf; new plants are low water-using or California native species
  • Landscape maintained using integrated pest management (IPM) practices with no synthetic chemical pesticides


  • 130,000 gallons of water saved annually compared to a conventional landscape
  • 29 tons of local, recycled compost used
  • 27 tons of local, recycled mulch used
  • 75% of plants are low water-using species
  • Bay-Friendly landscape practices reduced greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 14 tons CO2E


  • Project owner: City of Albany
  • Landscape architect: Sentient Landscape, Inc.
  • Location: 1000 San Pablo Ave., Albany, CA
  • Landscape size: 11,500 square feet
  • Landscape accessible to the public? Yes

Bay-Friendly Rated Landscape score: 93

Year rated: 2010

Bay-Friendly Rater: Cynthia Greenberg, Placeworks