Local experts offer free classes, resources to create water efficient landscaping
WEST JORDAN, Utah – Utah is facing a historic drought that is restricting and Utah residents are looking for ways to conserve water.
More than five years ago, a team of horticulturists, landscapers, and water industry experts from Utah came together to create Localscapes. The program was specially developed for Utahns to promote water-efficient landscaping.
“It’s really a shift in the way you think about your landscape and try to make it as functional and water efficient as possible,” said Megan Jenkins, a spokeswoman for the Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District.
When Aly Escobar and her husband bought a new house in Herriman, they decided to take a localsacpes class before landscaping.
“I thought, since we have this big garden, why not save water,” she said.
The program focuses on five techniques: a central open space, quilts, activity zones, paths and plant beds.
Localscapes offers both in-person and virtual courses, as well as free designs and resources. People using a Localscapes design use 2/3 less water than people using a traditional Utah landscape, Jenkins said.
“With a smart design, you can create areas with little to no maintenance. You can design your lawn so that it can be watered efficiently, ”she said.
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According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, more than 9 billion gallons of water are used for outdoor use in homes every day. About half of this water is wasted, in part due to deficiencies in the irrigation system, reports the EPA.
Since using the Localscape design, Escobar has not only saved money on their monthly water bill, but has also benefited from discounts.
“We feel great to say water, especially at this time when water is so precious,” she said.
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For now, people should focus on planning and training, Jenkins said. She also requested that the landscaping should be done in the fall. The popularity of Localscapes’ water-saving approach has grown significantly due to the drought conditions, she said.
The biggest caveat, however, remains that people fail to understand that this is not a desert style of landscaping with just rocks and cacti. Those involved want to encourage more people to stand up for this type of water saving.
“It’s really important that people think about how their landscapes interact with the environment,” said Jenkins.
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There are some discounts for people who take the courses and create a water efficient yard in certain parts of the state. Localscapes is not a company, so the programs and training are offered for free. There are several companies that work with Localscapes. For further information, click here.