Creek Friendly Landscaping & Gardening

You and your neighbors can continue to enjoy Laguna Creek by using creek-friendly landscaping and gardening practices.

Landscape with native plant species.
Native riparian vegetation is uniquely adapted to survive flood conditions. Native plants provide erosion protection during high flows and generally recover quickly when flood waters subside. Native species also require less water and fewer chemicals than most exotic plants.

Encourage infiltration
Pave only where necessary. Paved surfaces increase runoff during storms and peak flows in creeks, adding to flooding and erosion problems.

Use pervious pavements
If you are planning to construct walkways, patios, driveways, or stormwater drains, consider alternatives that maximize permeable surface area. This allows more rainwater to soak into the ground on site.

Practice water conservation
Every drop of water you save, whether through landscaping with drought-tolerant plants, reducing personal consumption, installing drip irrigation, and avoiding other water-using activities, contributes to maintaining a healthy creek environment.

Limit use of gardening chemicals. Avoid using chemicals entirely in wet weather.
Pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers can run off into the creek. Fertilizers add excess nutrients to natural waters that lead to algae bloom, bad odors, and even fish kills.

Consider using compost and organic soil amendments instead of chemical fertilizers.
Pull weeds before they flower to reduce the need for herbicides. Introduce natural predators such as toads, spiders, garter snakes, and ladybugs, which reduce insect pests.

Dispose of yard and lawn clippings properly. Never dispose of lawn clippings in a creek.
Soil and lawn clippings disposed in creeks become unsightly, destroy aquatic habitats, and may also worsen flooding problems. While they are biodegradable, organic wastes use the oxygen that fish, aquatic insects, and native plants need for survival.

Do not rake, sweep, or blow leaves or lawn clippings into the street or storm drain.
Add them to a compost pile to make fertilizer for your property. If composting isn’t possible, rake or sweep up clippings and dispose of at municipal composting programs or use curbside yard waste collection services.

Require your gardener or landscape service to haul away pruning debris, leaves, lawn clippings, and other yard debris for composting.


Guidebooks and Other Resources:

Create Your Own Rain Garden Guidelines, by Sacramento County Dept of Water Resources:

River Friendly Landscaping in the Sacramento Area

Elk Grove Greener Gardens