Posts Tagged ‘water saving’

Three Dollars a Square Foot

West Basin

Another water agency has upped the ante on turf removal. The West Basin Municipal Water District Turf Removal Rebates are now raised to $3 Per Square Foot. West Basin provides drinking and recycled water in southwest Los Angeles County РCulver City, Inglewood, El Segundo, Rancho Palos Verdes, Palos Verdes Estates, Manhattan Beach.

This is thanks to a grant from the California Department of Water Resources and funding from the Metropolitan Water District. This limited time offer allows West Basin residents to replace their high water use lawns with efficient California Friendly plants and landscapes. This incentive will help in mitigating the impacts of this and future droughts.

To find out more on how to qualify visit: www.socalwatersmart.com or call 888.376.3314.

These programs require, generally, an inspection before you tear out the turf, and most do not allow you to replace turf with artificial fur of just gravel or hardscape like cement. They do not generally require that the plants be native, but we know natives rate the best solution for water savings, pollution reduction, habitat value and our sense of heritage.

If you live in this area and go for the rebate, please let us know how it goes and share “Before and After” photos with us.



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Pete Veilleux has three garden photos accompanying this article about “losing the lawn” - every day we see more attention being paid to this – so if you spot an item in your local paper. please let us know so that we can share.

There are some nice tips for removing turf and a short list of easily available summer blooming natives. Good for those who are just getting started on the native gardening path.




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photo courtesy LA Times

As part of our daily life, water and energy are getting a lot of attention as we come to realize their intertwined relationships. The Los Angeles Times just printed an article, “Water conservation’s other benefit: its a power saver,” that highlights some of the issues. Native plant gardening will not reap all the benefits of lower water use. For example, some benefit will come from people taking fewer or shorter showers with cooler water. But it hits home in the use of water for landscaping. Moving water around the state is one of the primary electrical expenditures in California.

When we decrease the amount of water that we use on landscapes, it is like getting a free power plant. Direct, no cost! So, let’s continue to encourage all who we see that this is a great alternative in so many ways. And, some day soon, it will be rare to see a photo of grass being watered in this state.

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Los Angeles Times article photo credit.

Well, that’s the new term: “Behavioral water efficiency.” Water districts are experimenting with ways to allow consumers to compare their water use to their neighbors’ levels. This tends to create more efficient behavior. And, since about half our water goes into our gardens, this is of interest to CNPS in implementing our outreach programs – getting more people interested in natives for a variety of reasons. Conservation of our precious heritage is joined by the everyday economics of running a household.

Do you think these sorts of programs make long-term behavioral change? I’d love to know your views, and any examples from your own patterns of use – not just water, but how you have modified and adapted your actions and activities in other ways that can help us to see how to affect change.

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Screen Shot 2014-02-28 at 5.53.16 AM

Following up on our media coverage bubble, this news clip is about Janet Thew’s native plant garden in Loomis. She added a 1,000 gallon rainwater harvesting system.

You can barely see the plants in her garden, which is too bad, but the narrative starts off with the message that this is native, as opposed to their lumping it into the “drought-tolerant” category.



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Agi Kehoe Mercury News native garden



The above photo is one of several that appeared in the San Jose Mercury News – Agi Kehoe is nicely featured!

The is two articles right in a row at different spots in the state. Let’s keep that momentum going!

Agi, congrats on the press.

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Greg Rubin Unnion Tribune

courtesy San Diego Union-Tribune

As the current weather conditions point up our vulnerability, the press is turning to local experts for ideas and advice. A perfect example: Greg Rubin’s photo and quote in this article from the San Diego Union Tribune.

In your communities, offer yourselves as experts to the press and extend our reach. If you’d like help in learning how, just give me a call or email me:

619 318 4590


We can discuss talking points, statistics, and approach for getting our ideas across, along with providing photos and homeowners whose gardens would be good examples.


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