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Brown's Action Draws Excitement, Disdain At Street Level

Landsystems Landscapes / Flickr

Drought tolerant landscaping may become the norm under the governors new executive order.

Landsystems Landscapes / Flickr

By Jeffrey Hess, Valley Public Radio 

Among other actions, Governor Brown’s executive order mandates the replacement of 50 million square feet of lawn around the state with drought-tolerant landscaping.

That’s a fantastic idea according to Fresno based urban gardening expert Kiel Schmidt:

“We need to get toward a perspective that a drought tolerant landscape is the ideal and that is what everyone should be envious over. I’ve got the most beautiful front yard, but I use no water.” 

The idea also excites Richell Swallow of Fresno, who says she’s already stopped watering her lawn and is ready for the next step.

“That is what we are looking into eventually, is just maybe – I’m not sure what we would put in. I don’t want to put in that Synlawn because it doesn’t last very long, that fake grass, whatever you want to call it. So I don’t know what we would put in, in place of it. But we are looking into other options now.” 

But not everyone likes the idea. John Trotter says there are no level of incentives that lead him to replace his Fresno yard:

“No, it’s still ugly. There are incentives in the south. So many dollars per square foot, but it still wouldn’t be worth it to make our house ugly.”

Brown also plans to offer rebates for the purchase of water-efficient appliances, and he wants golf courses, cemeteries and other large landscaped areas to reduce their water usage.