When I moved to my new place in Pasadena, the property offered a typical Southern California St. Augustine grass front lawn. Great for playing badminton or having barbeques, but I wanted to grow something more useful. As an incentive, the City of Pasadena was offering a tempting rebate–for every square foot of lawn removed, they would pay $1.
From the City of Pasadena’s website:
Lawns typically use 50 percent more water than other plants. That’s why more and more Pasadenans are replacing their thirsty lawns with colorful water-smart landscaping that attracts birds and butterflies. PWP’s Turf Replacement Program can help you make the switch to a water- and money-saving landscape. Now ALL Customer Types may qualify for the program, including commercial, institutional, residential and multi-family water customers.
The property had over 800 square feet of water-guzzling grass. No brainer–out with the grass!
I am incredibly privileged to have the help of homesteading neighbor, Jules Dervaes, who transformed his front lawn twenty years ago. He drew up an amazing edible landscape plan to submit to the City for the program application, which was approved on the spot! Then, he and his son, Justin, with occasional help from his daughter, Jordanne, undertook the hot, dirty, heavy work of removing, not only turf, but also tree-sized hedge stumps (grisly photos to be shown in a later blog post).
So, if you live in Pasadena and want a cash reward for removing your lawn, check out the Turf Removal Program. A new round of funding recently opened up for the Fall. (Here is a list of other agencies in the Southern California area that offer similar programs.)
If your city or county services district is not as forward-thinking as Pasadena, let the officials know about these programs–maybe they will be prodded to put in place a similar incentive for saving water and supporting lawn alternatives.
Delicious, convenient, beautiful homegrown produce…plus $810!
What innovative programs does your municipal or county government offer? What’s growing in your front yard?