Tulare rolls out Lawn to Garden Rebates Program

An example of eco-friendly landscaping, with mulch and drought tolerant plants instead of a traditional grass lawn.(City of Tulare website.)

City of Tulare offers incentives through Lawn to Garden Rebate Program, which aims to replace traditional lawns with eco-friendly alternatives

TULARE – Take a look at Tulare’s innovative rebate program, where “the grass is greener on the other side” is more than just a saying.

In an effort to help combat water scarcity, the City of Tulare kicked off the Lawn to Garden Rebate Program earlier this year. This program aims to motivate both residential and commercial property owners to replace their traditional lawns – which require lots of water – with eco-friendly landscaping that utilize water-wise, drought-tolerant plant materials.

With this program, participants have an opportunity to receive a rebate of $3 per square foot of lawn that is replaced, with up to a maximum of 1,500 square feet for residential properties. For commercial properties, the limit is up to 5,000 square feet. The maximum rebate for residential properties is $4,500 and the maximum rebate for commercial properties is $15,000.

To qualify for the rebates, properties must convert a minimum of 250 square feet of lawn, although smaller projects may be considered if the entire lawn area is removed. Additionally, converted areas must have been previously irrigated. Lawns that are dead or brown as a result of drought conditions are also accepted.

Eligibility for the program extends to single-family homes, multi-family residences and commercial establishments that receive water for landscaping through a metered service with the City of Tulare – provided their water accounts are in good standing. However, it’s important to note that the program is not retroactive, and projects that were already underway before approval are not eligible for rebates.

Anyone participating in this program is given 120 days to complete their projects, with additional details and restrictions that are outlined in the program’s terms and conditions. Residents who are interested can apply by filling out the Lawn to Garden Rebate Program Application, which can also be found on the city’s website.

It is important to note that applicants must get the go ahead from the city before getting started on the project. The city states on its website to wait to receive a “Notice to Proceed” letter before taking any action, and that someone may reach out to conduct an on-site pre-project inspection before approving the project.

Once the project is approved and completed, roughly 50% of the converted area must be covered by low-water, climate-appropriate plants, as outlined in the “Recommended Plant List,” which can be found on the “Lawn to Garden Rebate Program” webpage on the City of Tulare’s website.

Mulch must be used to cover the planted area and any existing sprinkler systems must be replaced with drip irrigation, a type of micro-irrigation system that allows water to slowly drip into the roots of plants, either from the top of the soil or from buried beneath the surface.

The funding for the program was provided in full – or in part – from the Budget Act of 2021 as well as a partnership with the California Department of Water Resources.

For further information on the program, visit the City of Tulare’s official “Lawn to Garden Rebate Program” page.

Start typing and press Enter to search