Free Summer Classes Offered for Yard Makeovers

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Free Summer Classes Offered for Yard Makeovers
Get a preview and a one-on-one consultation at the San Diego County Fair on June 22
“Imagine” WaterSmart gardens at the fair

The Water Authority and the San Diego Horticultural Society have teamed up to create an award-winning WaterSmart display garden at the San Diego County Fair. Stop by the display, titled “Imagine,” at the Paul Ecke Jr. Flower & Garden Show for inspiration about climate-appropriate outdoor living spaces. A free overview of WaterSmart landscaping is at 1:30 p.m., June 22 at the garden pavilion stage.

The San Diego County Water Authority is sponsoring free classes around the region this summer to help homeowners adopt WaterSmart landscaping practices by replacing water-guzzling turf with low-water-use plants. They kick off with a preview class at 1:30 p.m., June 22 at the garden pavilion stage of the San Diego County Fair. The landscaping event is free with fair admission.

While many San Diego County residents have embraced water-use efficiency measures, it’s important for everyone in the region to take additional water conservation steps because drought conditions have reduced water supplies statewide.

Homeowners who attend the preview session at the fair can learn about several topics featured in the full WaterSmart Landscape Makeover Workshop Series and arrange for a free consultation with a professional landscape designer. To make the most of the one-on-one sessions, participants can bring photos of the turf area they’d like to upgrade along with notes about conditions such as soil type, drainage and sun exposure. Space is limited. To reserve a spot, send an email to landscapemakeover@sdcwa.org.

The full set of landscape makeover series classes include analyzing participants’ landscapes, creating landscape designs, choosing plants and using efficient irrigation systems. Participants walk through the steps for retrofitting turf areas of their landscapes and prepare WaterSmart makeover plans custom-made for their yards. All classes are taught by local landscape industry professionals.

The next full-length WaterSmart Landscape Makeover Workshop Series will start July 9 in San Marcos. It will be followed by a separate series in Chula Vista starting July 12. Additional class series are expected to start in late August. Each series includes four free classes held at the same location over several weeks.

Classes fill quickly and require pre-registration. Go to the WaterSmart Landscape Makeover Series website, http://landscapemakeover.watersmartsd.org, for more information about locations, schedules and the application process.

In addition, San Diego County residents are eligible for rebates of up to $3.50 per square foot from regional programs for replacing turf grass with water-efficient landscaping options more suited to the county’s semi-arid climate. Details are at http://turfreplacement.watersmartsd.org/.

Water conservation efforts are important for helping the San Diego region weather the third consecutive dry year statewide. The Water Authority has declared a Level 1 Drought Watch condition that calls for voluntary conservation efforts such as repairing leaks quickly, washing paved surfaces only when necessary for health and safety, and eliminating inefficient landscape irrigation, such as runoff and overspray. The Water Authority also has launched its “When in Drought” outreach campaign to promote voluntary conservation measures across the San Diego region in case dry conditions continue into next year. More information is at www.whenindrought.org.