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City incentivizes residents to remove lawns

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Long Beach increases the amount homeowners receive for using drought tolerant landscaping.

gazettes.com | April 18, 2013

The Long Beach Board of Water Commissioners voted last week to make a successful program more monetarily enticing – adding money to homeowners’ pockets who end up replacing their grass lawns with drought tolerant landscaping.

“We are very excited to offer our customers increased funding for their Lawn to Garden projects,” Board President John Allen said in a statement. “Removing water-thirsty grass from our homes and businesses is one of the most effective and inexpensive things we can do here in Southern California to permanently strengthen the reliability of our water supplies.”

The Water Department’s Lawn to Garden program was founded in 2010. Since then, there have been 850 landscape projects funded by it. Previously, applicants received $2.50 per square foot of landscaping transformed — the latest vote will up that to $3. Applicants can receive the money for up to 1,000 square feet. The program has won national recognition, and more than 1,000 projects will be completed near the end of the year, department spokesman Matthew Veeh said.

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Mexican sage bush is one of many plants being touted as drought tolerant.

Photo courtesy of KLRU

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