Terra Nova is Bringing Back Bicycle-Powered Landscaping!

By August 5, 2014Sustainable Landscaping

 The community is invited to help relaunch Tread Lightly, the pedal-powered landscaping service, with an Indiegogo kickoff party at the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Exploration Center on Friday October 17th, 2014 6:00 – 9:00 pm.

Starting a bicycle-powered landscaping service more than two decades ago, Ken Foster was truly a man ahead of his time. Terra Nova Ecological Landscaping’s “Tread Lightly” service invited the community to think differently about their yards—and more importantly, to act differently. For more than 20 years Terra Nova landscapers pedaled around town towing trailers full of tools, implementing permaculture designs, creating edible landscapes and building food forests.

Ken and Dan King on the ‘Tread Lightly’ route, 1991.

The full 'Tread Lightly' crew 1995

The full ‘Tread Lightly’ crew 1995


“Tread Lightly was an authentic, profoundly ecological approach to landscape care,” Foster says, “and the Santa Cruz community saw the service as a local symbol of innovation and hope.”

Terra Nova Ecological Landscaping continues its good work today, installing water catchment and graywater systems, drought tolerant landscapes, and providing low-impact landscape care service. But the Tread Lightly service, never a big profit maker, was discontinued one year ago. The equipment had aged and deteriorated, and it was hard to justify buying new trailers and bikes.

With a new business plan and marketing strategy in hand Terra Nova is confident that new bikes, custom landscape trailers and the appropriate equipment will ensure that the ‘Tread Lightly’ service gains the success it deserves.

Now Ken, along with friends and sponsors, is asking the community to help bring this valuable service back online.

Terra Nova logo

The Terra Nova Tread Lightly Indiegogo Kickoff Party

On Friday, October 17th, Terra Nova is launching a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo with a goal of raising $50,000 to get the Tread Lightly service rolling again.

Ken, along with the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Exploration Center, invites the community to join them at a celebratory event launching the Indiegogo campaign. They will screen the Tread Lightly Indiegogo video. Food will be provided by another legendary Santa Cruz institution, India Joze; wine will be provided by Vino Cruz and the Stockwell Winery; Uncommon Brewers will be there with their uncommon brews; and a local bluegrass band will be providing the music.

Individuals and businesses are invited to contribute to this good Santa Cruz cause by becoming a sponsor and setting up a table at the event.

When: Friday October 17th, 6-9pm.

Where: Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Exploration Center, 35 Pacific Avenue, Santa Cruz.

Cost: $25 contribution requested at the door with $20.00 advanced tickets available at Brown Paper Tickets.

For more information, contact Ken Foster at (831) 425-3514 or ken@terranovalandscaping.com.


About Ken

In 1967, 10-year-old Ken Foster read The Secret Garden by Frances Burnett. It took him a whole summer to read, but it inspired him to see gardening as a celebration of our coexistence with nature. In 1985, he took on an apprenticeship at the UC Santa Cruz Farm and Garden, and there he discovered his passion. He founded Terra Nova Ecological Landscaping in 1988, and has dedicated his life to caring for the environment and community through sustainable landscaping. He also teaches a permaculture class at Cabrillo College. When he’s not busy with designing, installing, and maintaining ecological landscapes, Ken can be found riding his bike around town, or making mandalas out of salvaged herbs that would otherwise have been sent to the landfill.


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