The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California Monday encouraged residents to learn more about how to plant and care for sustainable, water-saving landscapes through free multilingual classes, including a new Mandarin-language option, with a goal of increasing water efficiency across the region.
The one-hour classes are taught live on Zoom and feature three available courses: California Friendly and Native Landscapes; Turf Removal and Garden Transformation; and Garden Design.
The next class in English is Tuesday, followed by the new Mandarin- language option on May 12, and a class in Spanish on June 8. Classes are ongoing and scheduled on a monthly basis.
“We want to promote greater access to resources and information on our rebates in multiple languages,” said Metropolitan Chairwoman Gloria D. Gray. “Our goal is to make our water-efficiency programs more accessible to the many diverse communities we serve.”
The classes go hand-in-hand with Metropolitan’s Turf Replacement Program, which offers homeowners within the district’s six-county service area a $2-per-square-foot rebate for converting lawns to more water-efficient landscapes. Residents may be eligible for additional rebates depending on their local water agency’s guidelines.
During the last drought period in 2015, Southern Californians responded to the challenges by helping eliminate 172 million square-feet of grass.
“Over the years, Southern Californians have made impressive strides in lowering their water use, which has positioned us well to respond to the persistent critically dry conditions we’re currently facing,” said Water Resource Management Group Manager Brad Coffey.
“We can’t let up now,” he said. “We hope that these resources will make it easier for residents to adopt more sustainable landscaping in their yards and take advantage of our rebates.”
EPA WaterSense partner Green Gardens Group hosts the classes on behalf of Metropolitan and its member agencies. Classes were previously held in person and switched to a virtual format in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Information on class registration and water-saving rebates is available at bewaterwise.com.
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is a state- established cooperative that, along with its 26 cities and retail suppliers, provide water for 19 million people in six counties. The district imports water from the Colorado River and Northern California to supplement local supplies. It also helps its members to develop increased water conservation, recycling, storage and other resource-management programs.