Our demonstration gardens show how to effectively integrate native plants and other water-conserving ideas into your landscape design.

Lucie Stern Community Center
1305 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto

We partnered with the City of Palo Alto to create this demonstration garden in 2010. The project was sponsored by Lyngso, the California Native Plant Society Santa Clara Valley Chapter, the Bay Area Water Supply and Conservation Agency, EarthCare Landscaping, and the Bay-Friendly Landscaping and Gardening Coalition. We hold periodic free public workshops at the garden demonstrating sustainable landscaping practices and native plant maintenance techniques.


Ecohome Native Meadow
1120 Hopkins Avenue, Palo Alto

Community volunteers helped plant a native meadow next to Palo Alto’s EcoHome in 2011. Visitors to the EcoHome learned about ways to save energy and live more sustainably. Its landscaping included drought-tolerant bunchgrasses, and flowering shrubs that are a low-water, low-energy complement to the EcoHome. The EcoHome is a portable structure that has moved to a new location, but our landscaping can still be seen in front off Hopkins in front of the Girl Scout House near Rinconada Park.


PAUSD Science Resource Center
Located on the bike path between the JLS tennis courts and entrance to Hoover School

 In 2011, a parent from the Palo Alto Unified School District (PAUSD) designed a native demonstration garden for their Science Resource Center between JLS Middle School and Hoover Elementary. We worked with volunteers to plant the garden, which showcases native plants from different habitat types: riparian, chaparral, and grassland. In the spring of 2013, an Eagle Scout designed and installed educational signage for the garden. 


Redwood Grove Nature Preserve, Cottage Garden
482 University Avenue, Los Altos Hills

In partnership with GreenTown Los Altos, we installed a native demonstration garden as well as a rain barrel system that collects rainwater from the roof of the nearby cottage. Rain barrels provide additional water for the garden and dissipate the water from storms through a designed swale that meanders through the garden.


Portola Valley Town Center, Sausal Creek Restoration
65 Portola Road, Portola Valley

This stretch of Sausal Creek was buried underground in a pipe until the Town of Portola Valley “daylighted” it as part of the Town Center construction process. We led the efforts to re-vegetate the creek with the help of hundreds of volunteers. The site is a favorite of kids as it provides an easy way to explore the creek and its wildlife.


Walter Hays Elementary School Demonstration Garden
1525 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto

 Over 130 kindergarteners along with fourth and fifth grade helpers planted a valley oak, native strawberries, flowering currants, coffeeberries, rushes, bunchgrasses, and other native flowering plants to enhance a bare walkway leading to the school in the fall of 2012. 


Hoover Elementary School Pollinator Garden
701 Charter Street, Redwood City

We worked with students at Hoover Middle School, located in an urban area of Redwood City, to plant a pollinator garden where there was once blacktop. Students also planted big leaf maples and mulberry trees to provide leaves for silkworm rearing in the classroom.


Hoover Elementary School Pollinator Garden
445 East Charleston Road, Palo Alto

We worked with first graders to plant a small pollinator garden outside their science classroom in the fall of 2012. The students use the plants and the insect visitors to their garden as a resource for data collection and observation, enhancing their science curriculum. A student garden club meets regularly to help care for the plants.


Pearson-Arastradero Preserve Gateway Facility
1530 Arastradero Road, Palo Alto

In the fall of 2010, we installed a garden adjacent to the facility that showcases species found throughout the preserve. This garden is designed to tolerate extreme heat, cold, drought, marauding voles, and frequent deer visits.


El Palo Alto Park
117 Palo Alto Avenue, Palo Alto

One of our oldest restoration sites, the demonstration garden showcases many native plants local to the San Francisquito watershed as well as elsewhere in California. This is a good site to see a diversity of established native shrubs and perennials.

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Alma Pollinator Garden
1 Alma Street, Menlo Park

In 2015 we partnered with the City of Menlo Park to replace a lawn area with a native garden. The space also includes a small rain garden, which captures water via a slot drain installed across the walkway, allowing rainwater to soak into the ground instead of running off into the street. The garden is especially showy in the summer when buckwheats and goldenrod are in full bloom.


Sequoias Retirement Home Lawn Replacement
501 Portola Road, Portola Valley

The Sequoias Retirement Home in Portola Valley asked for our help in creating a test plot where they could try out native grasses and possibly replace some of the extensive lawns throughout the facility.

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Corte Madera Middle School Native Plant Garden
4575 Alpine Road, Portola Valley

Grassroots Ecology worked with students and parents of Portola Valley's Corte Madera Middle School to install this native garden in 2016.  Eighth graders learned about the benefits of locally native plants and then got to plant various wildflowers and perennials.  Students continue to maintain the garden by pruning and weeding.