Sustainable Landscaping Pilot Launching at Keller
Water-wise grounds headed to Keller Middle School will launch the Long Beach Unified School District’s sustainable landscaping pilot, a program that will guide the transition from traditional grass lawns to drought tolerant greenery at school entrances throughout the District.
The pilot is the first major initiative under LBUSD’s new Green School Energy and Sustainability Policy. Approved by the District’s Board of Education in August, the policy aims to reduce LBUSD’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2045 and transition to zero-emissions vehicles and machinery as quickly as equipment replacement cycles and budgets allow.
The sustainable landscaping pilot will also take root at Hudson Elementary School and Hamilton Middle School.
Drought tolerant landscaping at Keller will stretch across the school’s northern border at Brittain Street and wrap into part of Lees Avenue. Accessible, concrete walkways will be lined with decomposed granite, ornamental succulents and other low-water plants. Outdoor seating will invite students and families to gather before and after school.
Keller’s new landscaping is projected to save over 600,000 gallons of water per year.
LBUSD’s 2022 Facility Master Plan calls for programs that further the District’s commitment to sustainability. Measure Q will fund sustainable landscaping at District schools and projects that help reduce LBUSD’s carbon footprint.
New energy-efficient heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems were added to Keller’s permanent buildings in 2019, and the school’s all-weather field was installed in 2016. Keller’s new 10,000-square-foot physical education building will open next year.
Installation of Keller’s new landscaping will begin in the summer and be complete in time for the 2023-24 school year.