The workshops teach people how to remove grass turf and replace it with sustainable landscaping, which can save money and water.
By Megan Reed
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power recently held a two-day hands on workshop in Hyde Park where they gave their customers an opportunity to participate in a landscaping transformation project. This two-day workshop, which will be held again on February 29 and March 6 in Baldwin Hills, teaches people how to remove grass turf from their property, and install sustainable landscaping.
Grass turf can be expensive to maintain, and replacing it with sustainable landscaping serves two purposes. It helps conserve water, which is very important because Southern California has droughts often, and it saves customers money on their water bill. According to the LADWP, between 60%-70% of the water that is used at a home is used for outdoor irrigation.
“Customers who are interested in reducing the amount of water that they’re using on their property and saving money on their water bill, we ask them to take a look at their property, identify turf that’s being underutilized, and look at our (LADWP) resources to figure out how they can take out that turf and install low water-use plants, capture rain water so that they don’t have to necessarily irrigate with regular water that would be servicing their house, and ultimately save money as well as save water,” said Cathie Chavez-Morris, LADWP environmental supervisor.
The two-day workshop takes place over consecutive Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. People learn how to install efficient irrigation systems, plant installation, grading for rain capture, the value of installing compost and applying mulch.
“We’re hoping that customers today will take all of this great knowledge home with them and embark on their own personal project to remove turf from their property and install sustainable landscaping,” Chavez-Morris said. “We have customers who are interested in DIY (do it yourself) projects. They’ll do their own turf removal and installations. For people who are looking to hire a company to do this, there’s still value in participating in this workshop because they’re going to understand all of the essential parts to a landscape conversion. They’ll be able to better vet contractors, understand what should be included in their contracts when talking to contractors, and be able to serve as their own lead on site when they’re observing what their contractor is doing to ensure that every step is being met.”
To give customers more incentives to find ways to save water, the LADWP has a Water Conservation Rebate Program where customers can save up to $3 per square foot, up to 5,000 square feet.
While saving money is a major incentive to participate in this program, protecting the environment is another because of the droughts.
“From year to year we don’t know how much precipitation we’ll receive here in Los Angeles,” Chavez-Morris said. “So we always want to remind our customers that conservation is a way of life. We ask our customers during times of drought to make that extra effort to save water. Even during rainy season, we want to remind our customers that there are long lasting, permanent solutions that they can put in place that will save them money no matter what type of weather we’re experiencing.”
For more information about the Lawn Be Gone program, and to reserve a spot in an upcoming workshop in Baldwin Hills, visit www.LawnBeGoneDWP.com. Spots can also be reserved on LADWP’s Facebook page under the events tab. For more information about LADWP’s rebate programs, visit www.ladwp.com/rwr. Call (800) 544-4498 ext. 5 for information about both the workshops and the rebate programs.