Sonoma Ecology Center Residential Landscape Design and Implementation

At Sonoma Ecology Center, we offer all-in-one residential landscape design and implementation services for your home. Using fire-wise principles and California native plants, we help Sonoma Valley residents create home gardens that are beautiful, teeming with biodiversity, and minimize fire risk.

Our Step-by-Step Process

What To Expect



Our all-in-one landscape design and build team will work closely with you to envision and realize a beautiful and resilient home landscape. Our team can meet a large range of goals according to your desires and budgets. We are able to offer a-la-carte design services, or both design and implementation.

We start our projects with an initial consultation to assess your site and vision. You will then receive a design proposal and contract, with clear goals, deliverables, and fees. Bob Schneider, our Landscape Design and Implementation Project Manager, will work with you personally to tailor the project to your needs.


In the design process, we will map your site and build a conceptual design. This conceptual plan serves as an overall visual starting point, and gives shape to initial design ideas. You will receive sample sketches of what the final product might look like, plant palette suggestions, and relevant diagrams, all of which serve to help you contextualize and participate in the design process.

We then will make the conceptual design into a laid out and to-scale map. This allows us to turn the design into a landscape that can be implemented.

Finally, you will receive a complete design with construction, irrigation, and maintenance notes. Should you choose to use our build services, we can help you implement and build this ecological and firewise landscape.


Working with our all-in-one landscape design and build service ensures that you will receive a final landscape product that meets your expectations set during the design process. Should you use our build services, we will provide you with an estimated project cost for implementation and contract. Once this estimation is finalized, our crew will then work under a project manager and in close collaboration with your landscape designer to construct all elements of your design, including hardscape, planting, irrigation, and mulch.

If there are any unforeseen changes that arise in terms of hidden infrastructure or new goals, we will work with you to adapt and create a change order in our contract. Finally, we will organize a walk-through of the finished installation with your designer to ensure you are satisfied with your landscape, and answer any remaining questions.

Bob Schneider is Sonoma Ecology Center’s Landscape Design and Implementation Project Manager. He has more than 8 years of experience in Restoration and Ecological Landscape Design, and extensive education and experience in horticulture, ecology, and habitat restoration. He received the Permaculture Design Certificate from New Paradigm College and is in progress to receive the Design Certificate from New York Institute of Art & Design, the Watershed Wise Landscape Professional Certification, California Landscape Contractor License, and the AutoCAD for MAC certificate.

Design Goals

Our design goals allow us to enhance the surrounding natural landscape to support biodiversity, wildlife, conserve water and energy, sequester carbon, build soil, and reduce the risk of fire.


  • Using a watershed approach, Sonoma Ecology Center designs landscapes that are informed by the order and harmony found in natural plant communities.
  • California native plants provide much more habitat for the unique insects, birds and other animals of our area.
  • Native plant gardens have the unique ability to connect people with plants (and all the good bugs they support!).

Fire Resilience

  • A resilient landscape is fire-wise, water wise, and promotes biodiversity by using California native plants.
  • Plant selection, spacing, and maintenance reduce the risk of fire in the defensible space zone.
  • There’s no need for a fire-wise landscape to be a “moonscape”! Good design allows a rich diversity of plants!


  • Water conservation is critically important and tremendous gains are made by emphasizing native plants adapted to our area, and by practices that build soil and keep rainwater on our properties.
  • Maintenance and energy needs are reduced by thoughtful design that eliminates energy intensive mowing and hedging.
  • Designed landscapes must contribute to a healthy watershed and thriving community.

Other Resources

Resilient Landscapes Coalition

We are proud to be a part of the Resilient Landscapes Coalition, a partnership among Sonoma Ecology Center, Habitat Corridor Project, the UC Master Gardener Program of Sonoma County, and FireSafe Sonoma. The goal of the Resilient Landscapes Coalition is to simultaneously encourage fire-wise landscape design and management in the defensible space zone, enhance biodiversity and wildlife habitat, and conserve resources.

Download Resilient Landscapes Coalition Tri-Fold Brochure in English and Spanish.