Certified Health & Safety

Love Powers Our Health and Safety Practices

May26, 2022: It is becoming evident that the greater Los Angeles community is going through another wave of COVID-19, alongside elevated flu impacts. While we are at a different stage of the pandemic, as more people are testing positive and hospitalizations are on the rise, we want to be sure we take the utmost care with your wellbeing and that of our team members. It is not only the right thing to do – it impacts our ability to operate full teams during this critical time of year.

We continue to require our team to wear masks indoors, including in our trucks, and to keep masks on their bodies at all times. They are likely to mask if you approach them out of consideration for your health. Upon request, teams will also happily wear masks while working in your gardens. Of course, we also continue with sanitation protocols.

If you have questions about our standards, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. Your health and happiness are our top concerns.
January 5, 2022: Our team has consistently defined and practiced rigorous Covid-19 protocols that, at times, go well beyond the latest public health orders. As Los Angeles faces a deeper challenge this winter, we continue safety measures that include:

Appropriate PPE: We’ve long provided all team members, in-garden and in-office, with appropriate PPE. This way, we can ensure PPE meets the highest safety standards.

Distance: We limit in-office attendance, require distance, and harness technology. In-garden, we distance as much as possible, which can mean smaller teams being in gardens longer. We also invest in measures to support our team’s ability to distance in transit to work and to work sites.

Sanitation: We provide all teams with sanitation supplies, and our teams consistently clean hands and surfaces as we work.

Insurance & Paid Leave: Both insurance and paid leave are unusual in the landscape industry, yet these team benefits are essential to ensuring team members feel economically safe if care or quarantine is needed.

Love: Our most important safety practice involves keeping our love front and center. It informs our policies and practices. It powers our safe behaviors – on and off the clock. It is why we check-in to make sure you feel safe along the way.

By consistently doing all we can to keep our teams, our clients, and LA safe, we’ve maintained peace of mind as situations evolve and policies change. We’ll continue to do so, as we are committed to coming through it all together and to continuing to serve LA. In the meantime and always, may you be safe, well, and happy friends!

Cassy and Kirk Aoyagi
More Information
See Our LA County Public Health Covid-19 Safety Compliance Certificate
See LA County Public Health Best Practices
See the Protocols for Our Business
See Community Garden Protocols
Access more Protocols + Translations
More on Our Covid-19 Response Follows

Hopeful for LA and Maintaining Best Practices

May 27, 2021.By Cassy and Kirk Aoyagi: After a year of extraordinary loss and hardship for Angelenos, we are heartened to see our public health improve and our trajectory toward a new normal. We are profoundly grateful for the hard work and health of our teams through it all, and for the clients and friends who have kept us in business and moving forward through the harder moments.

As policies change, we need peace of mind that we are doing all we can to keep you and our teams safe. For the time being, we are continuing the safety protocols we established in March 2020, including physical distancing, masking and sanitation.
November 18, 2020.By Cassy and Kirk Aoyagi: On Friday, LA County will implement tighter safeguards to curb the spread of Covid-19. We are already compliant with these safeguards.

Should the county reach thresholds for reinstitution of the Safer-at-Home Order, we believe we will once again be considered an essential business. If this changes, or if we anticipate any shifts to schedules or service as a result of the order, we will promptly update these expectations.

We are incredibly grateful to you for wearing masks, washing hands, and watching your distance to protect us, yourselves, and the city we all love. These are tough times, but we are confident we can get through them together.

FormLA Landscaping Earns LA County Public Health Compliance Certificate

October 2, 2020. By Cassy and Kirk Aoyagi: FormLA Landscaping is among the first set of businesses to earn the newly available LA County Public Health Covid-19 Safety Compliance Certificate. This involved training and testing in policies and practices to protect employee health, physical distancing and infection control measures, equitable access, as well as team and public communication.

In studying and testing the County’s recommended protocols, we were relieved and proud to discover our own efforts well-exceeded them. Before and beyond certification, our teams adjust operations and schedules on a daily basis to ensure the greatest levels of health and physical safety for one another and our clients. A pleasant side effect: we’ve found that attention to Covid-19 protocols has amplified attentiveness to other forms of workplace safety as well.

As business owners, we are dedicated to doing all we can to protect our team members as well as our clients. We know our example and sincere concern are as important as our formal protocols. For us, it is essential we effectively set expectations with clients that protect team member health, model safe behavior in our personal lives as well as business interactions, and provide formal structures and team-culture support for everyone’s protection.

If you have questions about our protocols, operations, or process for getting here, please ask. We are all learning, and we are committed to ensuring we all build back better together.

Your Health and Safety Are Always Our Top Priorities


Maintenance Teams Reinitiate Full Services

June 1, 2020, By Oscar Ortega: We feel as if we’ve lived a full decade this spring! It’s been a season of perpetual adaptation. We finally feel like we understand our new normal and can look beyond accomplishing essential tasks to those that bring you beauty, comfort and joy.

We simply can’t thank you enough for the love and concern you’ve shown our team and your willingness to reimagine and adapt with us. Thank you LA!

Build Team Reinitiates Construction

May 13, 2020, By John Cook: Having our construction teams back in action has been such a great feeling for all, our workers, our managers and for sure our clients. We’ve learned a lot in the last month. For one, back in action doesn’t mean normal. Some of the new normals we’ve come to anticipate – we are beginning to master, acquiring materials, wearing PPE, solo drivers, sanitizing, communicating with clients.

Other adaptations are more difficult. We’ve found some on and off disruptions in our incredibly reliable and loyal labor force, that under the circumstances, more than understable. We have tried to allow as much leeway as we can for the unexpected and honor our team members’ needs while limiting disruptions to work as much as we can.

We have managed to reconstruct our project schedule moving out through the fall, but anticipate some delays and disruptions here and there depending on how the broader situation unfolds..

Our primary goal is to operate safely with great care for you, your family and our team. As we do, we will bring the same attention to detail, dedication to work quality, and clear, open communication you’ve come to expect from us. We appreciate your patience as we continue to navigate the unknown and bring the best of the best to your project.

More Maintenance Services Resume Operations

May 1, 2020, By Oscar Ortega:: We now manage physically separated work with greater ease, and you may see your essential services team in-garden for longer timeframes to provide services beyond those initially defined as most essential. We’ll continue to do all we can to keep you safe and your garden beautiful, staying in touch with you regarding what can be accomplished.

Thank you to those who have reached out with encouragement, kindness, and bloom-and wildlife photos. It truly means the world to us all right now.

Our Essential Service Protocols Protect Clients, Team, and LA

March 23, 2020, By Cassy and Kirk Aoyagi: We are deeply touched by your concerns for our health and safety. We are making decisions about our operations, day by day, in teamwork with our full staff and clients, maintaining flexibility as preferences and official guidance evolve.
Our maintenance team has opted to continue offering essential services – but only essential services.

The Safer-At-Home Orders define landscaping and gardening as essential, but they do not specify essential tasks. Our team worked to fill this gap in understanding, discussing which maintenance tasks we see as critical to the health and safety of our clients and community, balancing immediate and long-term concerns. We then confirmed our understanding with our community of clients.
These are the tasks we’ve defined as essential:

  1. Monitor | mitigate leaks and flooding
  2. Eliminate standing water
  3. Complete fire clearance
  4. Manage irrigation
  5. Provide outdoor janitorial services
  6. Take trash to curbs
  7. Mow (every other week)

Our design team continues designing, our build team must hit pause.

Our design team, operating offsite, continues to complete underway projects. Our build team placed many projects-in-progress in a safe state and paused some work to ensure teams can operate in a way that protects their safety and that of the broader community.
We realize the real beauty we’ve created is our relationships with you.

We continue to be surprised, in the best of ways, at the response of our community to this crisis. We greatly appreciate the care clients have expressed for our team member’s physical and economic wellbeing. As you know, we approach the work of creating beauty with the philosophy that our underlying job, our true job, is to save LA. Words can’t express how uplifting it is to see that you also want to save us.

Love from all of us here. Be safe. Be well. Hang in there. We’ll get through this together.

Adapting Our Services to Protect Your Health Through Safer at Home

March 19, 2020: By Cassy and Kirk Aoyagi:We are currently assessing how the Safer-at-Home order impacts our services and the best way for us to protect our clients, team and the LA community. We know that many of you have concerns about fire, flooding, slides that balance health concerns. Know we are dedicated to both your health and safety. We will continue to update this page as we learn more.
March 14, 2020. By Cassy and Kirk Aoyagi:In light of growing concerns over COVID-19, we’d like to share FormLA Landscaping’s processes for keeping clients, our team, and the community healthy and safe.

We aim to protect our clients, team and the community more broadly by supporting the efforts of health officials and government leaders to contain COVID-19. Accordingly we have and will continue to take proactive, preventative measures to protect against exposure. These are guided by science-backed information and official guidance from the CDC, State Department, and local authorities.
The most important thing we can do is re-emphasize proper hygiene and sanitation protocols that prioritize client, team and community safety.
The following existing safety protocols are already in place:

  1. We provide all our employees with paid vacation and paid sick leave, and we require they stay home if sick.
  2. We’ve executed mandatory refresher training around communicable disease prevention at home and at the workplace. These trainings reiterate proper hand washing technique; employee hygiene, including avoiding touching the eyes, nose and mouth; proper sanitation; social distancing; not coming to work sick; and following proper reporting protocols.
  3. We ask teams to wash hands for 20 seconds each between jobs and ensure they have supplies on hand.
  4. We carry alcohol on-board for disinfecting equipment between jobs.
  5. We know many of you rely on your edible gardens and that they may be all the more needed in the weeks ahead. As of today, the FDA notes that there is no evidence that Covid-19 is transmitted through food sources and notes only standard food preparation recommendations. We are watching for any updates and continue maintaining edible gardens with great care.

Additionally, we’ve added new protocols as extra precautions to keep our employees and customers safe. Our new protocols include:

  1. Beginning the week of March 15,2020 in-garden teams will be practicing social distancing with clients to the greatest extent possible while delivering services.
  2. We will increase cleaning and sanitation schedules of highly trafficked areas and high touch garden surfaces, including gate access areas, hose and irrigation controllers, and outdoor living equipment.
  3. We offer virtual and phone meetings as options for meeting with our in-office team.
  4. We’re asking team members to reconsider personal travel and gatherings in line with new local, California, and State Department advisory alerts.
    We are continuing to monitor the latest guidance and will communicate here as we adapt to any new protocols. Stay safe, stay healthy LA!