Did you know: You can get paid $1-$2 per square foot to convert your yard to a more sustainable landscape. Yep, it’s true.
Because of the extensive drought affecting California for the past several years, an old program that pays property owners to make their landscape more sustainable has been reinstated. By removing non-native, water-intensive plants and replacing them with approved plants that grow naturally without extra water you can qualify for a cash rebate from the water district.
What’s the catch? Well, first, you have to live in Santa Clara County in California. The program is run by the Santa Clara Valley Water District with the San Jose Municipal Water System, City of Morgan Hill, and the City of Cupertino joining as partners.
Depending on the type and size of your property and the city you’re in, you could receive up to $2,000-$3,000 for a single family dwelling or up to $20,000-$30,000 for a commercial property.
To qualify, commercial or residential property owners must call and request a pre-inspection to receive approval for inclusion in the program. Once approved, property owners must replace high water usage plants (like irrigated turf grass) with at least 50% plant coverage using plants from the water district’s approved plant list.
Check out the Santa Clara Water District website for all the rebate details and numbers to call for pre-inspections.
Even without the Santa Clara Water District rebate, converting your landscaping makes a lot of sense. The benefits of a sustainable landscape are many:
- Spend less money on water and fertilizer – Lawns are especially thirsty, and often require a fair amount of fertilizer and weed mitigation to thrive in soil they aren’t adapted for. By contrast, native plants are accustomed to the local environment. That allows them to thrive with little to no help from your pocketbook.
- Reduce time spent doing maintenance – You can probably think of a few things you would rather be doing than mowing the lawn (again). Pretty much all landscaping is going to require some maintenance, but grass in particular is pretty time-intensive compared to succulents or shrubs.
- Increase energy efficiency – As the previous points suggest, plants that can survive on their own are require significantly less energy. Water, fertilizer, maintenance, all of these things require energy to transport, create, and apply.
- Restore habitats – Native vegetation is the cornerstone of a vibrant, healthy local ecology. That helps to promote and protect local food supplies by, for example, increasing the number of pollinators needed for crops. A more natural environment also contributes to our own mental well being.
- Enjoy the unique beauty of local flora – Why should your outdoor space look the same as someone who lives in the Midwest or East Coast? Bay Area cities like San Jose and Santa Clara are home to all sorts of unique plants. For some idea of the incredible variety of California’s native plant life check out Cal Flora.
The value of sustainable landscaping has never been higher, and the timing has never been better to make the switch. Bayscape has helped numerous clients update their residential landscape, improving aesthetics, efficiency, and the value of the property.
If you’d like to discuss options for your property don’t hesitate to give us a call!