Aspire to be River Friendly!

Winning Yard of River Friendly Contest
​Local contest winners featured in December's Sacramento Magazine

​Congratulations to Sacramento County’s “Aspire to Be River Friendly” contest winners! Sacramento County partnered with Green Acres Nursery to promote the benefits of River Friendly Landscaping and used the ‘River-Friendly Landscape Benefits Calculator’ to determine the winners.

Educating our residents on River Friendly Landscaping practices helps conserve water in the Sacramento region and reduce greenhouse gasses while “naturally” creating a beautiful environment,” said Michael Peterson, Director of the Water Resources Department.  “Tony and Ellen’s yard serves as an inspiration to their neighbors and other residents throughout Sacramento County.”

Local residents were invited to “calculate” the most River Friendly yard in Sacramento. The winners were awarded a $500 Green Acres gift certificate to advance their green landscaping practices. Contest winners,  “Tony and Ellen,” adopted environmentally-friendly gardening practices to create their healthy, beautiful and vibrant yard while conserving water, reducing yard waste and preventing pollution of our local creeks and rivers. For some local inspiration, check out Tony and Ellen’s yard in the December issue of Sacramento Magazine.

The available River-Friendly Landscape Benefits Calculator is an easy-to-use online tool that guides visitors through simple steps to environmentally friendly landscape and maintenance practices. Visitors to the website can compare their landscape  to a conservation-minded river-friendly landscape or a more traditional landscape (comprised of mostly lawn), in terms of water needs, green waste production, greenhouse gas emissions, costs, labor, and maintenance.

The calculator has thousands of plant suggestions for every landscape in the Sacramento area, including many native plants that require little watering.  The website makes it easy to see how to achieve a beautiful garden and at the same time really cut water bills, saving water and energy – and as a result, producing lower greenhouse gas emissions. The calculator describes these savings, as well as the cost and labor benefit of choosing river-friendly practices and plants. Check out the calculator at

Sacramento County’s River Friendly Landscaping Program was a recipient of the 2010 Environmental Protection Agency’s national Climate Showcase Communities Grant award, recognizing excellence in cost-effective initiatives for greenhouse gas reductions which contribute to water conservation and landfill waste reductions. 

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