UTAH DROUGHT

Applications open for Utah’s Landscape Incentive Program

Mar 19, 2024, 8:30 AM | Updated: 9:54 am

xeriscaped yard Utah's Landscape Incentive Program...

FILE: A xeriscaped yard in the Avenues of Salt Lake City on May 30, 2005. Washington County residents could soon get an incentive to replace their grassy lawns with xeriscaping. (Photo: Tom Smart, Deseret News)

(Photo: Tom Smart, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — With spring officially arriving, expect garden centers to get busy. Many people are thinking about digging out grass and putting in more drought-tolerant landscaping. 

“We are really targeting what we call non-functional turf as we like to say, ‘if you’re only walking on it to mow it, it’s non-functional turf.’ If you’re on there playing catch or having picnics or letting your dog run, then keep it as it is.”

Kelly Good with the Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District says if you’re thinking about getting rid of that non-functional turf, the state may have some money for you through the Landscape Incentive Program. The program pays as much as three dollars per square foot for the turf you remove. 

“Labor is probably going to be your biggest cost. So if you are up to DIY it, that three dollars a square foot can pretty much cover your materials,” she said.

Utah’s Landscape Incentive requirements

According to Good, there are some requirements to qualify. Applicants must submit a plan to be approved before they tear out any grass.

To get started, applicants create an account on Utahwatersavers.com and add the property they plan to re-landscape.

“So, this could be your primary residence. But if you also own a business or rental property or something like that, you can also register your property there,” said Good. 

The application requires photos of the property’s current landscape and a plan for the new landscape. 

“So. in most of Salt Lake County and Utah County, you’ll also be required to watch a short video. It’s about 8 minutes long and then you’ll submit your application and a conservation technician will be in touch with you to schedule an initial site visit. The most important thing to know is not start your project until you’ve had that initial site visit. We cannot retroactively reimburse for lawn that’s been removed.”

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Applications open for Utah’s Landscape Incentive Program