DELMAR GARDENS, Calif.
— When the Westside Garden opens its doors in 2019 in Delmar, Calif., the landscaping company will be green, and not the green of the future.
“There will be more green spaces than green trees in our future,” Westwood president and CEO Steve Olbrich told CNN in an interview.
The garden, in the center of the San Fernando Valley, will be built around a landscaping system of natural plants, along with the addition of a new, environmentally-friendly water-purification plant that will be installed next year.
It will be one of a number of green spaces being built in California this year, including a greenbelt in Ventura County that will provide wildlife habitat and green space for a new park, a “green neighborhood” in Pasadena, Calif.; and a green-energy hub in Sacramento, Calif..
“We’re making this project more green,” Olbricki said, noting that the company will incorporate the water-saving plant and the water purification plant into the garden.
He also said that the water plant will be placed in the back yard and will be monitored by a sensor that monitors water usage.
But he stressed that the garden will be “green” as the company makes sure it meets the requirements of the Clean Air Act, including requiring the garden to use less than 20% of the power it uses, and the installation of a water-management system.
Westwood is in talks with local governments in Los Angeles and Orange counties about the project.
As for the green name, Olbrichek said it will refer to the plants and trees the company wants to grow and maintain.
Olbrich said the company has developed a business plan that includes how the greening of the Garden will help create jobs and increase its revenue.
“The Westside will be the best example of what a green garden can look like,” Olbich said.
California has a growing green economy.
It produces about 80% of California’s fruits and vegetables and is also the nation’s largest producer of natural gas.
There is also an increasing focus on greening the state, with California and its territories and islands taking steps such as installing green roofs and water treatment plants.
For Olbriche, it is important to make sure the Garden stays green.
On top of the water use, the garden’s design will have to be environmentally-sound to make it a green space, Olbichek added.
One of the first green-space projects in California was the installation in 2007 of a large, green water tank in San Fernando, a city in the central coastal region of Orange County.
A year later, the city opened the Westridge Park Greenway, which includes a landscaped green space that has been open since 2007.
In April, Westwood opened a green water system in downtown Fresno that provides water for its employees.