Resource Central sees record participation in programs that help people transition from thirsty grass to climate-resilient yards

Coloradans are ripping out their thirsty grass yards in record numbers. This year more than 10,000 households in Front Range communities transitioned a portion of their yards to waterwise landscaping or optimized their irrigation systems to save water.

That’s the most ever, and the numbers are growing year after year, according to Resource Central, a nonprofit based in Boulder that operates water conservation programs throughout the state. With half of a typical household’s annual water usage going to outdoor landscaping like grassy lawns, a growing number of people are rethinking their lawns.

This new trend is being driven by increasing concerns about the impacts of climate change on regional water supplies and declining water levels in the Colorado River and major reservoirs such as Lake Mead and Lake Powell. While Coloradans have experienced above average precipitation this year, it doesn’t erase the ongoing impacts of the 23-year megadrought.

“Waterwise landscaping is rapidly becoming the new norm in Colorado,” said Neal Lurie, president of Resource Central. “People don’t want to waste water and they are concerned about the impact that hot, dry summers will have on their grassy yards so they’re starting to make changes.”

At least 45 water providers and municipalities are offering incentives to help people make changes to reduce their outdoor water usage in communities throughout the metro Denver region and from Fort Collins to Pueblo. The fastest growing program is the Lawn Replacement program where incentives from participating communities cover 60% of the cost of the lawn removal service.

Families with grassy yards can also participate in a free service called Slow the Flow to help optimize their irrigation system and avoid unnecessary overwatering. This conservation program is fully funded by participating local water providers. Dozens of water providers also offer incentives to transition to waterwise gardens through a program called Garden In A Box that provides starter plants with professionally designed plant-by-number maps.

“September is a surprisingly good time to make landscape changes,” said Melanie Stolp, senior water programs manager at Resource Central. “Planting perennials in early fall has a wealth of benefits including rapid root growth, less transplant shock, and a bigger debut in spring.”

Learn more about local water conservation programs and incentives available to transform yards at:

About Resource Central:
Founded in 1976, Resource Central is an award-winning nonprofit dedicated to putting conservation into action. Its programs have helped more than 700,000 people save water, reduce waste, and conserve energy.  Learn more at