SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4) –Many Utahns are on the hunt for a water-wise yard. Living in the desert prompts most residents to want to conserve water but also still have an appealing landscape. Many local water districts even offer rebates to residents with waterwise lawns.  

With all the attention on conservation messages and residents keeping an eye on water use, many are asking what a waterwise landscape looks like.

Cynthia Bee, Public Information Officer for the Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District says, “We see so many people assuming that it’s either the landscape they have now OR a cactus and lava rock filled “zeroscape” that they fear. Turns out, it’s not the landscape they fear but rather the kind of landscaping that most neighbors envy.”

Bee says the Conservancy District and all its partners throughout the state are trying to banish the all-or-nothing way of thinking when it comes to landscaping Utah yards. “It’s a range. It’s all about solving problems that homeowners already know they have while also conserving water and potentially getting cash back after completing the projects.”

She says it is important that homeowners also realize it can be on a project-by-project basis. No one has to tear out their whole yard and start over. She recommends starting with a small area like a park strip and finding what works for you and what you end up enjoying as part of your landscape.

“Homeowners would be less worried if they understood how beautiful and manageable the outcomes are,” Bee says. “We’re not asking homeowners to remove all lawn (though we will teach them how best to do it if they’re ready for that leap), we’re looking to reduce areas of ‘non-functional turf.'”

The Conservancy District has provided Utah residents along the Wasatch Front with invaluable resources to help answer the innumerable questions that so many have when trying new landscape projects. They have several different websites featuring water-wise help.

One such resource is Localscapes and along with a website that has rebate information, plant catalogs, irrigation information, free designs, and class schedules they also have a conservancy garden you can visit, walk through, and get fabulous ideas on everything from park strip design to a full 1,500 square foot lawn that can help owners see what works for their locations. The Conservation Garden Park, which hosts another website full of information, is located at 8275 South 1300 West, West Jordan, Utah.

According to their website, the Localscapes approach is a series of landscaping patterns and practices that takes into account Utah’s unique climate. It’s a good landscape design simplified. It’s landscaping that works for where you live.

There are also guidelines and lists for rebate and incentive programs which are experiencing support and changes from Utah legislation that are making projects easier than ever to complete on a smaller scale.

Utah residents are encouraged to check out the gallery and see what their neighbor Localscapers are doing and get tips and tricks on what’s working months and even years after project completion.