In-Person Workshops Return for 2023 Landscape Makeover Program
The San Diego County Water Authority’s free WaterSmart Landscape Makeover workshops have helped thousands of San Diego County homeowners successfully convert high-water-use lawn areas to WaterSmart landscapes.
For the first time since 2019, in-person landscape workshops return starting Saturday, March 18. Weekly sessions are from 9 a.m. to noon at The Water Conservation Garden, adjacent to Cuyamaca College in Rancho San Diego, and at the Helix Water District Operations Center in La Mesa. Virtual workshops are also offered on Wednesdays from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. with a new series beginning March 18. Virtual workshop registration is also open.
Participation is free with registration for in-person and virtual workshops required in advance through the workshop webpage. Enrollment is on a first-come, first-served basis.
Topics cover residential landscape design for the homeowner, plant palettes, healthy soil, irrigation retrofits and streamlined landscape maintenance, all with a “do-it-yourself” approach encouraging the use of low water use plants and personal design touches.
A wide variety of plant palettes and design templates suited to a variety of lifestyles have been updated for 2023.
“We are delighted to bring back our in-person workshops to give residents multiple options,” said Joni German, Water Authority water resources specialist. “People have different ways they prefer to learn new skills and different schedules. We want to help residents find the best way to achieve water savings with a beautiful new landscape that suits their lifestyle.”
Another free opportunity is the new “Designer At Your Door” service. Requirements include homes with a minimum-size living lawn, a working in-ground irrigation system, and a willingness by homeowners to install a more sustainable landscape. Attendance is required at a minimum of five three-hour workshops to qualify. Read more about the Designer At Your Door program and its requirements here.
Homeowners benefit from conservation gains plus rebates
Landscape watering accounts for more than half of a typical household’s water use in California. The Water Authority’s workshops can help residents create a drought-tolerant, water-efficient landscape with a design that maximizes enjoyment of the outdoor space. Homeowners can also save the time and expense required for lawn maintenance.
In the last five years, 1,290 participants created new landscape plans through the Water Authority’s workshops. They committed to converting 1,479,180 sq. ft. of lawn with a documented 33% water savings equal to 36.5 million gallons per year.
San Diego County homeowners, businesses, and organizations such as homeowners’ associations can receive between $2 and $4 per square foot to remove grass and replace it with low water-use plants better suited to our region’s hotter, drier weather. All customers are eligible for the base rebate of $2 per square foot. Learn more at socalwatersmart.com
Some agencies offer additional funding, including the City of San Diego and the County of San Diego. Residents in unincorporated San Diego County may be eligible for additional incentives through the Waterscape Rebate Program.
(Editor’s Note: The San Diego County Water Authority sustains a $268 billion regional economy and the quality of life for 3.3 million residents through a multi-decade water supply diversification plan, major infrastructure investments and forward-thinking policies that promote fiscal and environmental responsibility. The Water Authority delivers wholesale water supplies to 24 member agencies, including cities, special districts and a military base.)