Coastkeeper works with Orange County cities to assist more residents with landscape transformation
ORANGE COUNTY, January 4, 2015 – In an effort to conserve water, residents and businesses across Orange County are choosing to replace their lawns with drought-tolerant landscapes – also known as SmartScape, says Orange County Coastkeeper.
To help more people make this choice, Coastkeeper is expanding its SmartScape program — a free service that assists property owners with their landscape transformation process. Until now, Anaheim and Garden Grove locals may not have been aware of the opportunities, benefits and assistance available to make the transition from grass to drought-tolerant landscapes.
“We are expanding our program to include a focus on large communities where English is not the primary language and may have missed rebates due to language barriers,” says Ray Hiemstra, Coastkeeper’s associate director of programs. “We will offer materials in Spanish and Vietnamese to make sure more residents take advantage of water-saving opportunities.”
Coastkeeper is working with the cities of Garden Grove and Anaheim to host neighborhood workshops, raise awareness at community events and provide drought-tolerant landscaping information in English, Spanish and Vietnamese.
Launched this year, Orange County Coastkeeper’s SmartScape program assists property owners, landscaping contractors, businesses and residents transition to drought-tolerant landscaping to lower water use. This service assists at every step of the transformation process from identifying financial incentives, design, installation and long-term management of the new landscape. By transforming turf grass-based landscaping to SmartScapes, residents can conserve water, eliminate dry-weather runoff, reduce maintenance costs and reduce carbon emissions.
Coastkeeper’s SmartScape program covers all landscapes from large-scale projects including The Coastkeeper Garden and the California Edison SmartScape Project to residential sites. The program focus is on identifying what landscape ideas are right for each site and property owner and then helping to make it happen, no matter how large or small.
The heart of the Smartscape program is The Coastkeeper Garden — a unique, sustainable garden that showcases plants from six Southern California native habitats as well as drought-tolerant plants on 2.5-acres of land next to Santiago Canyon College. The garden exists as a tool to for property owners considering a SmartScape to see potential landscaping ideas in full display and teach important environmentally friendly gardening.
As an example of what a SmartScape can achieve Coastkeeper collaborated on the California Edison SmartScape Project to convert three acres of conventional turf into a resource-efficient landscape designed to serve as a model for other Southern California Edison facilities, commercial spaces and residential parcels. Following construction, Coastkeeper engaged in a two-year program to manage the site using sustainable landscaping practices resulting in:
- A 50 percent reduction in maintenance costs
- A 48 percent reduction in irrigation water use
- A 54 percent reduction in carbon emissions
- Capture and mitigation of 100 percent of storm water onsite
Coastkeeper SmartScape services are available to Orange County businesses and residents that want to turn their property into environmentally conscious, water-saving works of art.
ORANGE COUNTY COASTKEEPER: Orange County Coastkeeper is a member of the International Waterkeeper Alliance, which has 236 different independent programs across 29 countries. Founded in 1999, the mission of Coastkeeper is to protect and promote sustainable water resources that are swimmable, drinkable, and fishable. Coastkeeper is a nonprofit clean water organization that serves as a proactive steward of our fresh- and saltwater ecosystems. We work collaboratively with diverse groups in the public and private sectors to achieve healthy, accessible, and sustainable water resources for the region. We implement innovative, effective programs in education, advocacy, restoration, research, enforcement, and conservation. For more information, visit www.coastkeeper.org or call 714-850-1965.