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Free Lawn Replacement Program Launches in Rohnert Park and Cotati

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Free Lawn Replacement Program Launches in Rohnert Park and Cotati

To help meet Governor Brown’s goal of converting 50 million square feet of turf t drought tolerant landscape, Daily Acts is partnering with the Sonoma County Youth Ecology Corps (SCYEC) on an 8-week pilot program, funded by the Sonoma County Water Agency, to convert 50 lawns in Rohnert Park and Cotati.

The program, which is being offered free to Rohnert Park and Cotati homeowners and businesses, begins with a site visit from Daily Acts to assess the property’s suitability for the program. If the site is approved, a crew from SCYEC will cap-off sprinkler heads and bury the lawn under a thick layer of compost, cardboard and mulch to smother the turf. Over the next few months, the turf will start to break down and program participants are encouraged to plant water-wise plants in the fall. Daily Acts anticipates replacing between 30,000 and 50,000 square feet of water-thirsty turf. “This program is designed for homeowners and businesses who want to replace their lawn with drought-friendly landscape, but who may not be able, or comfortable doing the work themselves,” said Daily Acts Executive Director Trathen Heckman. “We will cover the lawn with compost, cardboard and mulch, which over time breaks down into healthy soil that will be ready for planting before the rains.”

“We want to show people the beauty of landscaping that is easy to maintain, requires little water and is healthy for the planet,” said Heckman. “I encourage people in high-profile locations in Cotati, Rohnert Park or Southwest Santa Rosa to contact us.”

The work will be done by the SCYEC crews, with the work performed by Conservation Corps North Bay (CCNB), which is a contractor for SCYEC. The crews will be led by a trained supervisor. The SCYEC employ 16-24 year-olds to work on ecosystem restoration and conservation-related projects. In addition to a paycheck, SCYEC workers receive training, environmental education and certification as Qualified Water Efficient Landscapers.

Homeowners and businesses interested in having their lawn converted to a low-water use landscape that is ready for planting when the rains come, can apply for this program by calling (707) 789-9664 or going to www.savingwaterpartnership.org/nolawn.

The program will start in Rohnert Park and Cotati and may expand in future years pending funding availability.