Did you know that in California, we use an average of 30-60% of our water outdoors? Cutting water use in the yard or garden has the potential to make a big impact on your overall water use. For this year’s Community Resilience Challenge, consider making a pledge to save water. Choosing to plant native, drought-tolerant plants has a great return – not only will it save water once plants are established, the plants can help support local pollinator populations.


If you’re looking for garden inspiration, check out the “Bringing Back the Natives” Garden Tour – which takes place this Sunday, May 6. The self-guided tour (registration required) provides the opportunity to view 40 private gardens that “provide habitat for wildlife, are pesticide-free, conserve water, and contain 60% or more native plants.” Native plants will even be sold at some of the gardens, in addition to sales at some local nurseries including Markham Arboretum. More information about the tour can be found here. Markham Arboretum is also hosting a free “Native Plants as Problem Solvers” talk on Saturday, ahead of Sunday’s tour.


Don’t forget – both the Contra Costa Water District and East Bay Municipal Utility District offer lawn-to-garden rebate programs. The California Department of Water Resources also has a lawn conversion rebate program. Check their websites for information on eligibility.


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