With California in the third year of a drought, the San Gorgonio Pass Water Agency in Beaumont is trying to demonstrate that it is possible to have a lovely garden without using a lot of water. The agency, headquartered on Beaumont Avenue, is replacing its front lawn with landscaping that is much more water efficient.
The 5,000-square-foot space will consist of rocks, a little bit of artificial turf, plants and decomposed granite. Work could be completed by the end of this week.
The agency, a wholesale water retailer, is spending $31,000 on the project. Tom Lara Landscaping in Cherry Valley is doing the work.
Board member Ted Haring said the agency is trying to show people they can have “nice-looking landscaping without a lot of grass.”
Grass lawns require a significant amount of water. In the Pass area, nearly two-thirds of the water used by individual homes is for landscaping and other outdoor uses, according to the agency, which encourages water conservation.
The agency is replacing its sprinklers with a “smart” irrigation system that will water the plants only when needed.
“It literally measures the moisture in the ground,” said Haring, a water conservation consultant.
The agency is having Lara plant greenery that mostly is native to the area, which means the plants won’t require a lot of water to thrive. The plant list includes rosemary, chaparral sage, autumn sage and blue fescue.
It will be a colorful landscape when in bloom.
Decomposed granite is a paving material used in walkways and driveways. Haring said it has an attractive yellow-beige tint.
Once completed, the landscape will resemble a dry river bed, said agency General Manager Jeff Davis.
Reach Erin Waldner at 951-763-3473 or ewaldner@PE.com
10:00 PM PDT on Monday, May 11, 2009
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