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City of Pleasanton Converts Lawn to Water-Saving Landscape

A landscape worker covers the lawn at Pleasanton's City Hall with layers of cardboard, compost and mulch.
September 24, 2014

Heeding the Governor's call to cut back on water use, in June the city of Pleasanton replaced the lawn around its administration buildings with new landscaping designed to reduce water consumption by as much as 93 percent. Rather than excavating the old turf and hauling it to a landfill, the city's landscape contractor covered the lawn with sheet mulch. Recycled cardboard, and locally produced, recycled compost and mulch were layered over the turf, smothering it in place. As the turf and cardboard decompose, they will enrich the soil and provide a healthy foundation for the new drought-tolerant trees, shrubs and ground cover plants .

The lawn conversion is projected to reduce water use by as much as 384,000 gallons annually, saving the city up to $1,300 a year. In addition, the city can expect substantial labor savings due to eliminating 44 mowings annually.

Download a two-page project case study.