Meet Our Interns

Smart Yards Co-op is happy to provide volunteering, training and internship opportunities to college students, environmentalists, nature lovers and aspiring landscapers. Volunteers and interns get a hands-on learning experience by participating in ongoing projects working on tasks such as: conducting customer interviews, material procurement, landscape design conceptualization, design research, explorations and finalization, installation, landscape management, social media marketing, attend and participate in educational workshops and events

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Celebrating Summer Solstice

Apricots - the unofficial sign that summer has begun. Although originally from Armenia, the apricot tree thrives in climates such as the one we have right here in the Bay Area. Consequently, the tree’s branches become heavy with ripe orange fruit around this time of year. The Rossmann family, who receives garden maintenance and the occasional garden do-over from the Smart Yards Co-op team, is one of many Bay Area households who is able to enjoy this bright orange and juicy fruit directly from the tree. 

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Elizabeth Sarmiento
Happy World Environment Day!

On this day, 47 years ago on June 5th 1972, the United Nations “Conference on the Human Environment” was held in Stockholm, Sweden to address the preservation of the earth’s environment. The Result of this 11-day conference is the World Environment Day, an annual UN-sponsored day dedicated to cultivating awareness and promoting action for the conservation of the environment. Later that year, the committee “United Nations Environmental Program” (UNEP) was founded.

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Elizabeth Sarmiento
Happy Earth Day 2019

“In pushing other species to extinction, humanity is busy sawing off the limb on which it perches,” said Paul R. Ehrlich, an American biologist in warning the world about human impact on Mother Nature. Unfortunately, his predictions have become reality. As presented in this article by the Earth Day Network, human exploitation of natural resources, deforestation, and the overuse of pesticides are causing an appalling decline of biodiversity in worldwide habitats. Therefore, the Earth Day Network has decided to dedicate this April 22nd, Earth Day to the cause of Protecting Our Species.

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Elizabeth Sarmiento
Earth Day 2018 Celebration and Workshop

Join Smart Yards Co-op and Smart Yards Education Foundation in collaboration with Sacred Heart Community Service, Human Agenda and Downtown College Prep for Earth Day Celebrations. Together we will honor our planet, good food, fun activities and a Work That Reconnects workshop. Breakfast, lunch, child care, workshop and translation (English/Spanish) included. Save your spot by registering, Earth Day Registration

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Elizabeth Sarmiento
Happy World Water Day!

World Water Day provides us with the opportunity to focus our attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. In 2010, the United Nations recognized “the right to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation as a human right that is essential for the full enjoyment of life and all human rights.” However, 2.1 billion of people today are still living without safe drinking water.

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Elizabeth Sarmiento
Happy Winter Solstice 2018

Friends,

As we look toward lengthening daylight and a new year, we want to thank you for being part of our journey during the past three years.

2018 has been another inspiring year for the Smart Yards Co-op team and the Smart Yards Education board. It has been filled with fun, and educational experiences working with such an enthusiastic community committed to making a difference. We also celebrated our third annual Earth Day educational workshop, Our Watersheds, Our Yards: Greywater & Storm Rain Relationship with over 70 participants.

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Elizabeth Sarmiento
Celebrate America Recycles Day with us

Today is America Recycles Day. May we honor this day by not just recycling but by refusing, reusing and reducing any waste that may end up in our environment. Every year, Americans generate millions of tons of trash. Read more here. Much of the garbage and waste that is taken to landfills can be reused and recycled in many ways. To recognize this day, the Smart Yards team wants to share with you how we reuse various materials to create some features of our gardens. 


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Elizabeth Sarmiento
Urban Habitats

We are aware that urbanization poses a great strain on our fragile ecology and is rapidly consuming habitable lands from the wildlife. Our wastes and ways are not only polluting and contaminating our water, air and soil but also adversely affecting our ecosystem and human health. Moreover, most beneficial insects and pollinators are rapidly declining creating an imminent threat to our future food production

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Elizabeth SarmientoComment
Tips to prepare for El-Niño

California is already enjoying the full onset of El Niño and many may not know that this cool, wet season is an excellent time for a sustainable garden facelift. Here are some tips from Smart Yards Landscape Expert - Elizabeth Sarmiento to help you prepare and make the most of this bounty!

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Elizabeth Sarmiento
Press Release - October 21, 2015

October 19 was the first day of operation of the Smart Yards Cooperative, an innovative new enterprise based in San Jose to conserve water by replacing existing lawns with California native and drought-tolerant plants. “Smart Yards is a holistic solution that saves on water, energy, time, maintenance, pollution, and costs for the homeowner”, states Project Director and co-op founder Elizabeth Sarmiento. Elizabeth and her husband, homeowners in Willow Glen replaced their front....

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Elizabeth Sarmiento