Green America: Growing the Green Economy for People and the Planet

Landscape Integrity Film & Education
Sierra Madre, CA

LIFE – Landscape Integrity Films and Education – was created because Californians need to understand the importance of landscaping with native plants and how to do it. Like many places around the world, California is experiencing water and extinction crises. Only native landscaping addresses both issues. Native landscaping conserves water, supports biodiversity and preserves authentic natural beauty.
LIFE has made a series of short films about landscaping with California native plants, and further series are planned. These films are short tutorials that empower people to transform patios, parkways and yards into spaces that support healthy functioning food webs and ecosystems. People need the “why, what and how” of native landscaping to make our cities truly sustainable and resilient, not just sterile, superficially green spaces. LIFE needs your support to make more of the films we envision and distribute them to water companies, cities and non-profits to generate the paradigm shift we need for the 21st century.
The environmental crises we face are seemingly overwhelming. Climate change, loss of species and drought give many people the feeling that they are powerless to do anything that makes a positive difference. Landscaping with natives makes that difference. Conventional landscapes are non-native, squander 50-70% of residential water, and require soil amendments, pesticides and fertilizers that contaminate our soil, rivers and oceans. Native plants use only 14% of the water needed by most non-native landscapes, and are more than just water-thrifty green furniture:  Because of co-evolution, native plants are the foundation of the food web. Native plants evolved with their region’s climate, soils, insects and animals, forming relationships that make living systems. (Caterpillars of most butterflies can eat only native plants: No caterpillars means no food for baby birds…) We need to support these living systems in our urban and suburban areas.  Native plants are green infrastructure, and LIFE’s short video tutorials show how to create that infrastructure easily at home.
LIFE’s films help Californians understand the importance of native-plant landscaping and how to do it, to conserve water, support biodiversity and preserve authentic natural beauty. Empowering individuals and communities will create a paradigm shift to a whole new green business sector. Please support our efforts to inform and empower people to retrofit with native plants that not only make sense for our climate and soils, but also feed the birds, butterflies and other creatures that add beauty, life and movement to our gardens.

Native Gardens Save Water & Wildlife from LIFE on Vimeo

Replacing Bermuda Lawn from LIFE on Vimeo.

Wayside Manzanita from LIFE on Vimeo.

Santa Cruz Island Buckwheat from LIFE on Vimeo.