Green Vision

Environmental responsibility is a core value of The Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands. Embracing creative and innovative solutions is central to the Sunnylands culture. We strive to be a leader in implementing sustainable practices to meet our current needs without compromising the environment for future generations. Sharing our environmental experiences with the public broadens the impact of our actions.

Conserving Precious Water Resources

  • On the historic estate, replacement of a 45-year-old hydraulic block irrigation system, as well as the addition of high-density polyethylene pipes and a soil-moisture calculation system, have helped to reduce water use.
  • Introduction of an on-site weather system helps predict future water needs, and irrigation zones are independently controlled
    The estate’s 11 man-made lakes have been relined to eliminate water seepage.
  • Since 2013, Sunnylands staff has examined the lakes’ macroinvertebrates in order to study how biologic systems develop in artificial waterways.
  • Sixty acres of turf on the estate have been replaced with mulch and meadow grasses that can survive without additional irrigation.
  • At Sunnylands Center & Gardens, plants adapted to arid climates reduce water use, while retention basins below the gardens capture water runoff to help recharge the valley’s aquifer.
  • The gardens’ design includes reclaimed water pipes that take advantage of future water reclamation projects in the Coachella Valley.

Utilizing the sun & the earth

In the Coachella Valley’s desert environment, there are more than 300 clear and sunny days a year, creating an ideal situation for production of solar energy.

A living laboratory for renewable energy sources.

In July 2012, Sunnylands began generating solar energy, having already installed a state-of-the-art irrigation system. A turf reduction program started in 2011 continues today.

LEED Certification

Sunnylands has achieved LEED certification for two building projects that were undertaken as part of its transformation from a private home to an educational nonprofit that opened the estate to the public.

LEED, established by the U.S. Green Building Council, stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. New building construction is rated and scored according to factors that include sustainable sites, materials and resources, water efficiency, indoor environmental quality, energy and atmosphere, and innovation and design process.

Read about Sunnylands’ LEED-certified projects below.


"I shall participate, I shall contribute, and in so doing, I will be the gainer."
- Walter Annenberg