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Coastkeeper and Inland Empire Waterkeeper Kick Off Free Workshop Series for Drought-Tolerant Landscapes


  • Residents to trade turf for SmartScapes across the Inland Empire and Orange County

Orange County Coastkeeper and Inland Empire Waterkeeper, creators of the SmartScape program, launch their 2017 series of free workshops to teach residents across the Inland Empire and Orange County how to install and maintain water-saving landscapes. Participants will learn how to transform their turf lawns into colorful landscapes that conserve water and energy, save maintenance costs and limit runoff pollution.

“SmartScapes are an easy and affordable way to save water and money, but many people watch their drought-tolerant plants die – or don’t attempt a SmartScape transition at all – because they don’t have the information they need,” says Ray Hiemstra, Orange County Coastkeeper’s associate director of programs. “Educating people about installation, maintenance and financial incentives makes water-wise landscapes accessible to everyone.”

Coastkeeper’s workshops are part of a broader initiative with the Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority (SAWPA) to provide technical assistance, training and community engagement for drought-tolerant landscaping. Coastkeeper and SAWPA are members of the Water-Energy Community Action Network (WECAN), a program funded by the California Department of Water Resources to save water and energy to reduce greenhouse gases, especially within disadvantaged communities in the Santa Ana Watershed.

As part of the state-funded program, Coastkeeper educates property owners, businesses and landscaping contractors with free trainings and informational materials – including its new bilingual SmartScape Manual. Attendees will learn how to apply for rebates and discover if they qualify for a free drought-tolerant landscape and indoor water-saving system through WECAN.

In the coming months, nine workshops will educate attendees about every step of the transformation process, from identifying financial incentives to installation and long-term maintenance. The first round of workshops include:

  • April 18, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. Glen Avon Library, Jurupa Valley
  • April 25, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. Fontana Community Senior Center, Fontana
  • May 2, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. Brookhurst Community Center, Anaheim

To learn more about SmartScape, visit For more information about upcoming workshops, visit


ORANGE COUNTY COASTKEEPER: Orange County Coastkeeper is a member of the International Waterkeeper Alliance, which has 236 different independent programs across 29 countries. Founded in 1999, the mission of Coastkeeper is to protect and promote sustainable water resources that are swimmable, drinkable, and fishable. Coastkeeper is a nonprofit clean water organization that serves as a proactive steward of our fresh- and saltwater ecosystems. We work collaboratively with diverse groups in the public and private sectors to achieve healthy, accessible, and sustainable water resources for the region. We implement innovative, effective programs in education, advocacy, restoration, research, enforcement, and conservation. For more information, visit or call 714-850-1965.