pink yarrow in SmartScape I

Project Overview

SmartScape III is the third installment of four SmartScape Areas. Its installation took place Fall 2021- Summer 2022. Data collection and maintenance will now begin.

The design and installation of SmartScape III complies with the Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance (MWELO). This means that the area has a calculated water budget via MWELO standards, and must perform within or below this water budget. 

Native plant species have continued to exceed performance expectations in a variety of green infrastructure interventions. Unfortunately, there is an absence of comprehensive and publicly accessible lists of Regionally Appropriate California Native (RACN) plant species that can be used in Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI), as well as models and frameworks for the selection process of native plant species in the Sacramento Valley region. e

By studying the performance of these species in pre-existing projects and by identifying the factors which influence the design and plant selection process, we propose to develop an extensive catalogue of GSI “super-performers” alongside a design framework intended to encourage and promote the use of these species in GSI solutions.

The SmartLandscape internship team will test and evaluate the framework’s effectiveness in selecting an appropriate and effective plant palette for the “Smartscape III” bioswale on the UC Davis campus. This demonstration project will allow us to showcase and evaluate the practical application of our approach and framework. Our findings will be made available to the public for personal and professional use, and our design strategy may serve as a model for others to replicate and modify for their own regionally specific circumstances and ecosystems. 

The species palette for SmartScape III can be found here


SSIII prep photos
SSIII purple three awn
Purple three awn in SmartScape III (August 2022).
SSIII narrowleaf milkweed
Narrowleaf milkweed in SmartScapeIII (August 2022).