Speaking Engagement: Permeable Hardscaping Lecture & Workshop

Another speaking engagement! On Saturday, May 16, I will be speaking once again on a topic related to coping with the historic drought: Permeable Hardscaping.

GFE Logo

My talk is being hosted by Garden for the Environment, the organic demonstration garden on 7th and Lawton, and is courtesy of the SF Public Utilities Commission. The PUC also sponsored the Water Works event last year, where I gave tours of the Southeast Sewer Plant’s sustainable gardens. That was a blast, and I’m really looking forward to being able to speak for a third time on a subject of immense personal passion. I’m really pleased the SFPUC is making such a concerted push to bring awareness to so many aspects of coping with our record-setting drought, and am thrilled to be commissioned to give this free public workshop!

Hardscaping is, logically, the hard non-plant aspects of our landscapes. Decks, patios, paths, and retaining walls, in essence. This lecture/workshop will focus on the importance of permeability – using materials that allow water to percolate through them. The purpose being to prevent wasteful runoff and replenish groundwater aquifers, in addition to letting more water naturally get to plants’ roots.

Last fall I presented for a workshop called Life After Lawn, where I spoke at length about the negatives of lawns in our climate, from water usage and runoff to chemicals to monoculture to maintenance. I’m glad to be called in again to continue the open discussion on ways to improve our drought-tolerant landscapes.

As with the lawn-replacement workshop, my goal is to have every single person who shows up learn something new, and to walk away armed with knowledge that they can share and spread to their friends and neighbors. I want everybody to be inspired to use hardscaping wisely and only where necessary, and to understand the implications of using it and how they can mitigate the negative aspects! There will of course be plenty of opportunity for questions and answers, and I’m hoping that group enthusiasm and member knowledge will help me learn something new myself.

The Details

It’s on Saturday, May 16, from 10am to noon.

North-end outdoor classroom area at Garden for the Environment, the corner of 7th Ave at Lawton.

Free! Come one, come all!


You can pre-register on the event’s website, but don’t let a lack of registering deter you from coming if you decide last-minute to attend. There is plenty of space for all, and nobody will be turned away. Click the GFE link above for more info or directions.


The location is served by decent public transportation options, too: the 36, 43, and 44 stop right there, and it’s about a 15-minute downhill walk from Forest Hill Metro Station if you prefer to skip the buses. It’s two short blocks to the 6 and the 66. It’s about three blocks from the N Judah, and only two blocks more to Golden Gate Park and the 71.

2 responses to “Speaking Engagement: Permeable Hardscaping Lecture & Workshop

  1. Would be interested to see more updates on workshop schedules. Right everyone? Who says a yes?

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