About RainScape Designs

WATER!  We are all about capturing it, storing it and letting it flow into our landscapes!

Rainscape Designs provides water saving landscape designs and education on how to collect and store rain or grey water in the landscape, with designs to capture water,  build healthy soil, and conserve our water resources with climate appropriate plants (that also provide habitat for wildlife) while reducing pollution and  runoff into our oceans, rivers and streams.

Renee led the Save Our Water, Ojai! Campaign for the Ojai Valley Green Coalition for 3 years to promote drought resilient landscaping.   Renee has been a leader in educating and designing environmentally sustainable landscapes for over eight years that protect the water resources of the Ventura River Watershed.  She is particularly adept at managing projects that bring people together to educate our community and strengthen our connection between natural spaces and the urban environment. She has a B.S. from the U of O and an A.S. degree in Environmental Horticulture from Sant Barbara C.C.

The video below, a project I worked on with Jeff Adams to create an Ocean Friendly Garden in Santa Barbara, summarizes the work.



Ocean Friendly Garden Ojai

Also called Ocean Friendly Gardens, Water Wise Gardens, Bay Friendly Gardening or Watershed Friendly Gardens,  these landscape designs reuse rain water and recycle gray water into the landscape.

Education and Training

  • Associate Degree in Environmental Horticulture from SBCC, with a focus on Waterscape Designs
  • Teacher of  California Friendly Landscape Training (CFLT) classes in SO Cal for G3-Green Gardens Group
  • Lead classes and hands on workshops on Ocean Friendly Garden (OFG)  – Site Evaluation, Site Preparation and Installation using climate appropriate (low water using) plants and irrigation.
  • Watershed Management Group Apprenticeship Training August 15, 2012 through August 24, 2012 in Santa Barbara, CA.
  • Fall 2012 – Applied Watershed Restoration Techniques and Introduction to Keyline Design– Quail Springs (follow link to 2013 coarse Applied Watershed Restoration Techniqueswith Craig Sponholtz of Dryland Solutions, Inc.)
  • Fall 2012 – Permaculture Design Coarse- Quail Springs with Warren Brush, more info below.

My Inspiration:

A quote from Carolyn Henderson from the PBS Dustbowl series by Ken Burns

“To prepare the grounds well as we may, to sow our seeds, to cultivate and care for, that is our part. But how difficult it is for some of us to learn the results we must leave to the great silent unseen forces of nature, whether the crops be corn or character.”
Carolyn Henderson

She discussed a government program to restore the lands by creating contours in the land or terraces to capture rain water.

“At any rate the contour listing has been done over extensive areas. If rains come to carry forward the feed crops now just struggling up in the furrows, the value of the work can be appraised. The primary intention of the plan for contour listing is to distribute rainfall evenly over the fields and prevent its running off to one end of the field or down the road to some creek or drainage basin. It is hoped that the plan will indirectly tend to lessen wind erosion by promoting the growth of feed crops, restoration of humus to denuded surfaces, and some protection through standing stubbles and the natural coverage of weeds and unavoidable wastes. One great contributing cause of the terrible dust storms of the last two years has been the pitiful bareness of the fields resulting from the long drouth.”

The Atlantic, “Letters from the Dust Bowl”, May 1936 https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1936/05/letters-from-the-dust-bowl/308897/

Leave a Reply