Plant Don't Pave provides a simple way for individuals to contribute to cleaner water and greener neighborhoods. The primary goal is to decrease water runoff into storm drains by removing non-permeable surfaces, like concrete, and replacing them with permeable surfaces, like plants and soil. This helps reduce urban runoff into storm drains, which is a primary cause of water treatment overflows during periods of heavy rains.
Plant Don't Pave: An Easy Process
- Review sidewalk landscaping guidelines
- Select the site
- Choose native plant(s)
- Complete sidewalk landscaping permit
- Purchase/rent planting supplies
- Cut and remove concrete
- Maintain your green space
The San Francisco Chapter of Surfrider Foundation may sponsor neighborhood projects to reduce the cost associated with Plant Don't Pave projects, as funding is available. We are currently sponsoring a project in the Outer Sunset, with the help of a Community Challenge Grant from San Francisco . Please complete steps 1-4 above and then contact us (select "Plant Don't Pave" from the dropdown) if you are interested in participating.
This simple process can change the concrete in front of your home into a nicer-looking, healthier space for relatively little cost and effort. You'll likely increase the appearance and value of your home, and contribute to the community's efforts to reduce urban runoff. The longer-term benefits are contributions to clean ocean and bay water by reducing wastewater treatment plant overflows. By allowing more water to seep into the ground, less water is sent into the storm drain system and the local water table is replenished.
What to Plant
At Ocean Beach in San Francisco , the following native plants may work well:
- Sand Strawberry (fragaria chiloensis)
- Idaho Fescue (festuca idahoensis)
- Thrift (armeria maritime californica)
- California Sagebrush (artemisia californica)
- Liveforever (dudleya cymosa)
- Seaside Daisy (erigeron glaucus)
Many other options are available. Please visit the local chapter of the California Native Plant Society or local gardening centers for additional assistance.
Groups Pursuing Related Goals Include:
- Friends of the Urban Forest (FUF)
- Alliance for a Clean Waterfront
- San Francisco Department of Public Works Bureau of Urban Forestry
- Street Parks
Please use our contact form for more information or to get involved with the Plant Don't Pave program. Also, you can read more about the Ocean Friendly Gardens campaign through Surfrider's main website.