Gather MWD Gifts

December 11, 2019. By Cassy Aoyagi: The greatest gifts delivered by a native landscapes are the greatest gifts in life: health, wellness, safety, time – a connection to community. But. Cash is also nice!

LA’s water agencies now offer $3 per square foot Cash for Grass grants. These gifts can transform LA – our landscapes, but also the opportunities available to our families.

Grants build upon the substantial savings associated with sustainable maintenance practices and the lower water and maintenance needs of natives. While these savings can save a college education in maintenance costs over ten year’s time, without grants it can take three years to recoup installation costs. Many LA families simply can’t wait. Many developers don’t realize planting native costs less, so they plant the same old things. These grants and the awareness they create may be game-changing.

By giving Angelenos greater incentives to abandon traditional turf lawns, the Municipal Water District gives several gifts to us all. As more Angelenos update their gardens, their actions will:

  • Protect our tree canopyDry lawns and hardscapes are rough on trees. Lush native landscapes with smart irrigation will protect them.
  • Reduce heat islands: Gravelscapes create heat in the city. Native trees, shrubs and grasses cool the city.
  • Clean our air: Mowers, blowers, fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides introduce known toxins to our air. Native landscapes don’t need them.
  • Improve water quality: All the same toxins traditional landscapes introduce to the air also meet our groundwater and the ocean. Not with natives!
  • Mitigate wildfire risk: Rather than encouraging use of “drought tolerant” invasive arson grasses, grants now encourage Angelenos to plant the right plant in the right place. This is key to our longterm safety.
  • Keep LA green: We were pretty tan-brown for a while there! With natives gardens, LA can be low-water AND lush, leafy, lovely and ready for drought.
  • Give LA a distinctive look: Everything else about LA is creative, diverse and noteworthy. Why would we settle for anything less in our gardens?

This gift can be a game-changer for us all. We couldn’t have asked for a more meaningful gift!