Community members in Santa Monica have the chance to select designs for the first time this month for three sustainable gardens that will be installed at the Santa Monica Airport.

As part of the city’s Airport Demonstration Gardens Design Contest, local landscape designers were invited to submit designs for three unique sustainable demonstration gardens and the final vote will be up to the community.

The designs are simple to recreate, including sustainable water-efficient templates incorporating outdoor living room features, elements from Mediterranean and shade gardens, climate appropriate plants, permeable paving, vegetable gardens, play areas, drip irrigation and lawn alternatives, according to the Office of Sustainability and the Environment.

“A lot of people want beautiful gardens, but it can be a daunting task to figure out where to begin,” said Russell Ackerman, a landscape specialist with the Office of Sustainability and the Environment. “Not only will our local community be able to vote for their favorite garden design, they’ll be able to get the winning designs for free.”

A panel of experts from the fields of landscape design, landscape architecture, and green building materials, as well as a representative from the Santa Monica Airport, evaluated all 27 of the original demonstration garden contest submissions. Of those, the top nine entries were identified, including three finalists for each of the three demonstration garden plots.

The winning designs will be offered free for download from the city’s Web site. Among the important elements included in each design package are:

Designs for typical yard sizes in the Ocean Park, Sunset Park, Pico and North of Montana neighborhoods;

a complete plant list with options for different color flowering plants and directions for installation;

a complete list of irrigation equipment and specifications for installation;

a list of local nurseries and irrigation supply stores that will provide the complete package for the design of choice; and

a list of sustainable landscapers that can offer assistance.

The public can cast its vote through the end of this month at