Converting City Hall to drought-tolerant landscape


On September 7, 2021, City Council gave staff direction to implement a number of water conservation efforts, including converting the lawn that surrounds City Hall to drought tolerant landscape. Motivating Council’s direction is the ongoing drought state of emergency, Governor Newsom’s call for voluntary reductions, Alameda’s Climate Action and Resiliency Plan’s objective to build resiliency in the face of climate change, and EBMUD’s offering of a new landscape rebate program for lawn conversions to water-wise gardens that thrive in California’s summer-dry climate and during a drought. On December 2, 2021, the Historical Advisory Board granted a Certificate of Approval for the work to proceed. Earlier this year, community members provided feedback in an online survey and at a community input session on January 25. That input was incorporated into the final design.


Existing City Hall landscape is mostly water intensive lawn, hedged boxwood and overgrown species of rose foundation plants. The redesign will not change the shape of the planter beds, just the landscaping within them to feature a mixture of drought tolerant Mediterranean climate flowering plants and a minimum of 50% California native plants. See here(PDF, 40MB) for an initial concept design. We are considering a number of plants from this plant palette(PDF, 19MB). Many of these species attract pollinators, butterflies, humming birds etc. The plan is to have the new City Hall landscape educate residents of drought tolerant landscapes for their residential gardens.

Plant Palette

Click here to view a larger PDF(PDF, 19MB) of this plant palette: 

plants for city hall.PNG

Rebates available for lawn conversation!

Thinking about converting your lawn or adding efficient irrigation? East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) has rebates up to $2,000 available now through June 30. EBMUD’s landscape rebates support water-wise gardens that thrive in California’s summer-dry climate and during drought. Lower your water bill and conserve water when you convert lawn to sustainable landscape and upgrade to high-efficiency irrigation equipment. Click here to read more. 


landscape banner.PNG