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Palm Springs’ Lawn Buy Back Program

Case Story

The hot, dry climate in Palm Springs makes having a green lawn a challenge. In response, the City of Palm Springs began offering residents a “Lawn Buy Back Program” in 2011 to encourage property owners to replace turf with desert-friendly and native landscaping.

The program’s goal is to encourage exterior landscaping improvements that contribute to overall beautification of neighborhoods by using sustainable materials and practices that use much less water. Through the program, the city offers incentives of $1 per square foot of lawn, up to $500 for residents, or up to $2,500 for multi-family lots. Participants provide a 50 percent cash match for landscaping improvement projects.

During 2011-2012, the program provided $93,010 in incentives to 30 single family homes and the common areas of 28 homeowners associations, replacing a combined total of approximately 85,000 square feet of turf with desert-friendly and native landscaping.


Water Reduction = 435,000 to 2,700,000 gallons

Resulting Energy Reduction = 4,833-29,997 kilowatt hours of electricity

Greenhouse Gas Reduction = 1.5 – 9 metric tons


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