Pre-Designed Gardens Jumpstart Water-Wise Landscape Change

The Turf Replacement Program, initiated by Resource Central in 2016 in partnership with the City of Lafayette, makes it easy for residents to decrease their outdoor water use by removing turfgrass and replacing it with beautiful, low-water landscaping. Built on the foundation of the wildly popular Garden In A Box, this innovative program equips residents with the knowledge, resources, plant materials, and landscape design know-how needed to transform a portion of their lawn into a thriving Xeriscape garden – without needing to spend thousands of dollars to hire a professional!

Program Impact

  • Residents can save 700-900 gallons of water per year for every 200 sq. ft. of turfgrass converted to Xeriscape and 1,100-1,600 gallons for every 200 sq. ft. of turfgrass converted to hardscape.
  • To date, Resource Central has helped residents replace over 50,000 sq. ft. of turfgrass with low-water landscaping, potentially saving 520,000 gallons of water per year.

How It Works

The Turf Replacement Program is a utility-funded water conservation program available in select cities. It rewards community members with the information, tools and materials to easily convert a 200 sq. ft. (or more) area of turfgrass into a beautiful, water-wise landscape. To see if your utility offers this program, see “Eligibility” below.

Program Steps:

  1. Attend a required 2-hour seminar on turf replacement, where you will gain the knowledge, skills, and confidence needed to begin your project. Click here for our full seminar schedule. All seminars are free and expert-led.
  2. Choose a 200 sq. ft. (or more) area of maintained turfgrass in your yard to transform into a low-water landscape.
  3. Submit your application for pre-approval, along with a current photo of your landscape.
  4. Remove turfgrass from the area and submit pictures of your work (must receive pre-approval before beginning work).
  5. Collect your free materials and transform your turf-free zone into a beautiful, water-wise oasis (must receive final approval before obtaining free materials).
  6. Send a final photo of your new and improved water-wise landscape!

Free Materials Include:

  • 200 sq. ft. Garden In A Box (includes: starter plants, plant by number maps, and plant and care guide)
  • Rain Bird Retro 1800 spray to drip irrigation conversion kit
  • Water bill credit (Lafayette only)

Specific program requirements, guidelines and deadlines may vary slightly from city to city. Check out our “2018 Program Overviews” to find your city’s requirements:

Spring 2018 Program Overviews and Important Dates:

Summer/Fall 2018 Turf Replacement Seminars:


For 2019, City of Boulder and City of Lafayette water customers are eligible to participate in the Turf Replacement Program. If you are not a water customer in one of these utilities, no need to fret – you can still remove turfgrass and replace it with a beautiful, water-wise Garden In A Box at an affordable price!

Residents outside of Boulder and Lafayette, here’s what you can do to create a low-water landscape:

If you are looking for a Turf Replacement Program outside of these partner areas, then please email or call 303-999-3820 x221.



If I attend the pre-requisite seminar in a different city than my own, will I still be eligible for the program?

Unfortunately, no. You must attend your city’s seminar to be eligible for the Turf Replacement Program. Each participating community has unique requirements, timelines and incentive options, and program participants are required to attend their city’s seminar so that they get the most clear and accurate information.

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Do I qualify if I removed a portion of my lawn before the program started?

Although we greatly appreciate your efforts towards water conservation, turf replacement projects that were started before receiving approval are not eligible for participation in the program. Qualifying areas must be existing and maintained turfgrass areas. If you have already removed a portion of your lawn before the program started, then this is not considered “existing and maintained turfgrass” and it does not qualify for the program.

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What qualifies as maintained turfgrass?

Maintained turfgrass is an area that is healthy, green, watered, cared for, and mowed regularly.  In general, it is an area that you enjoy and would feel comfortable “showing-off” to your neighbors. Maintained turfgrass is not an area that is dead and/or dying, brown, neglected, and not watered. It is not an area that you have given up on.

Only areas that have existing and maintained turfgrass are eligible for this program.

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What is Xeriscape and why are program participants required to replace their turfgrass with it?

According to Denver Water, Xeriscaping is, “landscaping that promotes water efficiency by using plants that are native and adaptable to Colorado’s semi-arid climate.” The goal of this program is to generate long-term water savings by replacing turfgrass with low water usage plants. When watered and maintained effectively, replacing your turf with Xeriscape can reduce your outdoor water use by up to 60%!

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How do I convert my irrigation system?

The first and most important step is to select an area that is within one irrigation zone. Due to differing water pressure requirements and timing needs, turfgrass and Xeriscape plants should not be watered by the same irrigation zone. Once a single zone is selected for conversion, participants have three options:

  1. Sprinkler to drip system conversion
    • From the manifold/valve box
    • Or from a sprinkler head: Rain Bird 1800 Retro – Video
      *Program participants will receive a FREE Rain Bird Retro spray to drip conversion kit. This does not include drip hoses or emitters.
  2. Hand watering
    • Participants can still qualify for the program even if they do not have an in-ground irrigation system.
  3. Call an irrigation specialist
    • Sometimes you just need a pro!

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How do I get my Garden In A Box and irrigation conversion kit?

All gardens will be available for pick up at one of our convenient distribution locations during the months of May and early June. Participants can select their pick-up date and location as soon as they submit “during” photos depicting the replacement area without grass and ready to be planted.

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Does Resource Central offer turf removal and sprinkler conversion services?

Unfortunately, we do not have the staff capacity to offer these services at this time. If you are unable to complete these steps for any reason, consider asking a friend, family member or a landscape professional for assistance!

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Can Resource Central recommend a landscaper to work on my project?

Due to our relationship with the municipalities and water utilities that sponsor these programs, we are unable to recommend landscape contractors. Participants can visit the Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado (ALCC) website to find a landscape professional in their area.

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