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City to offer workshop on drought tolerant landscaping
An example of nicely done front yard landscaping that requires little watering. - photo by Contributed to the Courier

The city of Ceres is hosting a workshop to help residents learn about ways to make their yards more water efficient.

The free California Friendly Landscaping Workshop is set for 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 10 at the Ceres Community Center, 2701 Fourth Street, Ceres. Anyone who wishes to attend should call 538-5688 to reserve a spot, or visit online at to send a message.

The how-to workshop will cover:

• Basic landscape design;

• California friendly plants;

• An explanation of the turf removal rebate program in Ceres;

• Basic irrigation systems;

• Care for landscaping.

The event will be hosted by the city's water conservation staff.

Jeremy Damas, the city of Ceres' Deputy Public Works Director, said the city is offering residents a $1 rebate for every square foot of lawn area that is removed and replaced with artificial turf or drought tolerant landscaping.

To qualify for the turf removal rebate, the homeowner's expenses back to March 1 or later will be considered. A homeowner must take out at least 100 square feet of lawn and replace it with an eye-pleasing combination of rock or bark and drought tolerant plants. Damas said the plants are designed to prevent a yard from looking totally barren.

Proof of expenses must be offered to the city in order to qualify. Up to $500 will be offered.

The city is also be offering a $75 rebate for replacement of outdate dish washers for water efficient models; and a $50 rebate for a smart irrigation controller.

The rebate expense will not come from the city's General Fund but from the water enterprise account.

Damas said that the state has threatened to fine cities $10,000 per day if they fail to meet the state-set water reduction targets. Ceres has to reduce use by 28 percent.

Damas said those who can afford to undertake turf removal probably don't need the financial help but it could be a deciding factor for those who have been reluctant to rip out sod.

Ceres is for far the only city in the county to offer rebates for turf removal, he said.

For more information on the rebate program, call the city at 538-5688.