"We wanted a look that was special to this community, that was memorable," said David Gates of Gates and Associates, the firm contracted to produce the landscape design.
"It's not just another row of trees like suburbia everywhere."
The landscaping proposal calls for a "green quilt" resembling fields of crops, with distinct squares of grasses, trees, and shrubs filling the existing Golden State Boulevard median.
The design suggests decorative monoliths, walls, and fences inspired by downtown architecture at key intersections, offering directional signs to Turlock landmarks.
Throughout the design process, Gates
said, native and Mediterranean plants were chosen to cut down on maintenance costs while providing colorful, natural landscaping.
Watering costs should be lower as well, he
said, thanks to water-efficient plants and rainwater retention basins.
"We're trying to be very efficient about sustainable elements and costs," Gates
"... We feel this is as low maintenance and as high an impact we can get for you."
According to Gates
, maintenance costs should be around $1 per square foot per year.
Current landscaping costs are closer to $1.50 per square foot per year, he
estimated, due to expensive tree trimming.
But Gates didn't have a firm maintenance cost on hand for the completed design, which worried Vice Mayor Kurt Spycher given the City of Turlock's budgetary issues.