Ditch grass, get cash: Mesa offers $1K cash incentive for xeriscaping

The city of Mesa is offering more than $1,000 to residents to make big changes to their yards as the state remains under a drought.

Recent storms have kept canals and waterways flowing smoothly, but officials say that it's not enough to put an end to a long-term drought that has lasted for decades.

Mesa residents who switch from grass yards to xeriscape, or desert-friendly landscaping, can get up to $1,100 - the highest cash incentive program of this kind in the Valley.

Resident Amador Gonzalez used to have a lawn filled with spotty yellow and green Bermuda grass. Now, it's a natural desert habitat filled with more than a dozen plants and trees. He says he's saving a lot of time, money and water.

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Before making the switch to xeriscape.

"You get a beautiful lawn - well it's not a lawn anymore, a beautiful yard," Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez got a check from the city of Mesa for more than $500 for making the switch a few years ago. Now, the cash incentive has increased.

"We now are up to $1,000 plus $100 extra for trees," ssaid City of Mesa Conservation Coordinator Becky Zusy. "We had this program since 2007 and hadn't raised the incentive since then. It was time."

The quality for the full $1,100, residents must replace more than 1,000 square feet of grass with certain low-water use plants and two eligible trees. Replacing a smaller area of grass with xeriscape and no trees could qualify for a $750 cash back incentive.

"We see savings of 50% or more on landscape when people incorporate xeriscape instead of grass," said Zusy.

Other cities including Scottsdale, Chandler and Glendale also offer grass to xeriscape incentives, but Mesa offers the most cash back.

Learn more: https://www.mesaaz.gov/residents/water/water-conservation/residential-grass-to-xeriscape-rebate

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