What is the SmartScape Program?

check out this beautiful smartscapeThe SmartScape Program promotes resource-efficient landscaping that features drought-tolerant plant design, cutting-edge technology and sustainable landscape management practices. There are many benefits of the SmartScape Program including:

  • Reduce maintenance costs
  • Conserve water
  • Reduce carbon emissions
  • Mitigate stormwater runoff
  • Increase soil carbon sequestration

Through the SmartScape Program Coastkeeper is assisting property owners and landscaping contractors in transitioning away from reliance on traditional high water use landscaping. We offer assistance at every step of the transformation process from identifying financial incentives, design and installation and long-term maintenance.

Why is SmartScape Important to California?

Traditional turf based landscaping is:

  • Expensive to maintain
  • Uses huge amounts of water
  • Produces runoff polluted with fertilizers and pesticides

Water is a critical resource that is not naturally abundant in Southern California. While we have been able to import water to meet our needs, it comes at a high cost to the environment and is becoming increasingly expensive.

Over sixty percent of residential water use is outside of the home, which is predominantly landscaping, and that can be changed. Transforming turfgrass based landscaping to SmartScapes creates sustainable landscapes that:

  • Conserves water
  • Eliminates dry-weather runoff
  • Provides reduced maintenance costs
  • Cuts down on the site's carbon footprint
  • Establishes a habitat for urban wildlife

How Orange County Coastkeeper is Helping the Community with Their SmartScape

water saving landsapeWant to learn more about or install a new drought-tolerant SmartScape?

If you are just starting with your landscape conversion Coastkeeper is ready to help. We have all the information you need on:

  • What rebates and incentives you may qualify for
  • How to convert your water thirsty landscape to a SmartScape
  • How to maintain it after you do.  

We also have the Coastkeeper Garden, a 2.5-acre demonstration garden where you can see SmartScapes for yourself. Contact Ray Hiemstra at the Coastkeeper office at 714-850-1965 x 304 or and we will get you started.

If you have recently installed a Smartscape and need help with maintenance:


Congratulations on converting your landscape and reducing your water use, overall landscape maintenance effort and pollutants that used to run off your lawn.

Now you need to maintain it and there is a big difference in maintaining a drought-tolerant landscape. For instance, there is often confusion on how and when to weed, water, and trim back your new landscape. See the Coastkeeper Garden page for information on scheduled landscape maintenance workshops or visit the garden to get hands on information.

Need more help? We have a landscaping help line available. Contact Ray Hiemstra at the Coastkeeper office at 714-850-1965 x 304 or and we can address your specific situation.

If you are a landscape company and want to learn more about SmartScape:

With the rapid acceptance of drought-tolerant landscapes by property owners, landscape contractors have to learn and adjust to new landscape installation and maintenance procedures. This can be difficult due to staff turnover and the wide variety of new plants, irrigation technologies and hardscapes being installed by property owners.

Coastkeeper can help. Coastkeeper is hosting regular series of trainings specifically for landscape professionals and we can arrange a special training for your company at you convenience.

See past SmartScape projects here