Free Sustainable Landscape Design Program
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Free Sustainable Landscape Design Program this Fall
Posted on 09/15/2023

Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities (DPU) is partnering with Los Alamos Cooperative Extension Service and the Los Alamos Master Gardeners to present a Sustainable Landscape Design workshop series.

Transitioning your landscape into meeting your needs while accommodating the resources and support from our local environment isnt easy for everyone. This workshop series is designed to present a basic overview and wealth of information around six key steps in getting your outdoor space where you want it, whether you do it yourself or hire a professional.

This program will run from September 21 to November 9 and each session will be recorded and available online if you are unable to make it to an event in person. Attend or watch them all and get a badge for being a sustainable landscaper!

Registration is not required but you can ensure your spot by calling 505-662-2656 or going to

Session 1: Transitioning Your Outdoor Spaces

September 21, 6:30 pm at the Nature Center

To many, outdoor spaces are simply an extension of your indoor space. But to others, looking out the window is overwhelming. This first workshop will provide an overview of what the Sustainable Landscape Design series will cover. We will discuss water conservation and landscape types, and also touch on landscaping with fire protection in mind.

Session 2: Site Assessment and Analysis

September 28, 6 pm at the Mesa Public Library

The first step in creating a sustainable landscape design for your yard is to do a site inventory and assessment. The more you know your site, the better your design decisions will be. Whether youve just moved to a new location or if you want to make changes to your current yard, this step will help you determine what the growing conditions on your property are and what is needed to sustain a healthy landscape.

Session 3: Landscape Design Basics

October 12, 6 pm at the Mesa Public Library

Now that you have assessed your plot, let’s consider the possibilities of the space. During this session we will consider plant characteristics (height, privacy, maintenance), your budget, workload and prioritization of the transition, and whether to do the work yourself or hire professionals. This session will help you get an outline in place for transforming your outdoor spaces. 

Session 4: Soil Preparation

October 19, 6 pm at the Mesa Public Library

Plants won’t grow if the earth isn’t in a condition to provide support. To begin soil preparations, you need to consider the current conditions and how to deal with what is there. This session will cover how to regenerate the soil for a successful and thriving landscape by addressing soil amendments, compaction, and the different weed barriers.

Session 5: Plant Selection

October 26, 6 pm at the White Rock Branch Library

The fun part of landscaping for most people is going to the plant store and picking out what you want to look at every day. This session will use what we learned in previous sessions about microclimates to make sure that favorite plant is in the perfect place. Plants look great at the store, let’s help them thrive once they’re in the ground.

Session 6: Irrigation

November 2, 6 pm at the White Rock Branch Library

Los Alamos County is in the semi-arid high desert of northern New Mexico. Your plants are going to require some level of watering and irrigation comes in many forms and at varying levels of expense. We will discuss an overview of the installation, maintenance, and expectations of different irrigation systems, from hand watering to utilizing swales to fully automated line systems.

Session 7: Maintenance

November 9, 6pm at the White Rock Branch Library

Maintenance, the oft-neglected part of landscaping, is important for a healthy and sustainable landscape. This session will touch on growing expectations, seasonal care, and addressing plant problems and pests, as well as learning from mistakes made in caring for and giving up on certain plants and landscape dreams.