Council Moves Forward on Water Saving Artificial Turf

Blumenfield push seeks to reduce barriers to the use of artificial turf for landscaping.          

LOS ANGELES, CA – To reduce outdoor water use, Los Angeles City Councilmember Bob Blumenfield today secured Council support to reduce barriers for residents and businesses interested in installing artificial turf in parkways. This move builds on Blumenfield’s ongoing efforts to “green the Valley” and push water conservation citywide.

Despite recognition as an excellent alternative to thirsty grasses, artificial turf is not available to many Angelenos because no standard has ever been developed by the City for installation. This leads to permitting costs that can frequently exceed $2000. Blumenfield’s motion directs the Bureau of Engineering (BOE) to develop a standard for the use of artificial turf in parkways in order to increase the viability of artificial turf as an option for residents.

“Angelenos understand the severity of the threat posed by the current drought,” said Blumenfield, who serves as Vice Chair of the Council’s Energy and Environment Committee. “We in the City need to make it easier for Angelenos to conserve water by rethinking their landscpaing. Reducing barriers to the use of turf alternatives is an important step in that direction.”

Currently, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) administers the Residential Turf Removal Program, offering rebates of $3.00 per square foot of turf removed to incentivize use of environmentally friendly alternatives such as artificial turf or California friendly plantings.

“Across Los Angeles but particularly in my West Valley communities, with our hotter climate and typically larger lots, the benefits of moving towards water wise landscaping are many and major,” added Blumenfield.

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), over one-third of residential water is used for lawn irrigation. In addition to giving Angelenos another tool to reduce usage, installation of artificial turf and other environmentally friendly alternatives are expected to reduce the use of harmful pesticides and fertilizers, as well as gasoline used by garden equipment engines. Any artificial alternative standard considered by BOE will be evaluated for environmental impacts.

Last month, Councilmember Blumenfield, along with the Theodore Payne Foundation, hosted a workshop at his Reseda office to help educate residents about the range of options and incentives for native landscaping and California friendly plants.

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