WaterNow Alliance (WaterNow) and Western Resource Advocates (WRA) are supporting the design and implementation of the “Beyond Lawn” Water Efficient Landscape Conversion Program being developed by the Eagle River Watershed Council and Eagle County Conservation District. This project aims to establish a non-functional turf replacement and irrigation upgrade rebate program, develop examples of lawn alternatives through research and demonstration gardens, and create educational opportunities to change behavior through outdoor water management practices and sustainable landscape conversion skills. As Eagle County faces an increasingly variable water supply, the Beyond Lawn Program is one step towards reducing water demand and maintaining a sustainable supply into the future.
Eagle County is a river-centric community, with a population of approximately 56,000, located on the Western Slope of Colorado. Its tourism and recreation-focused economy relies on healthy and flowing streams, and its population is predicted to double by 2050, potentially doubling water demand. Together, Eagle River Watershed Council—a local nonprofit that advocates for the health of the Upper Colorado and Eagle River watersheds through research, education and projects—and Eagle County Conservation District—a branch of the state government created under the Colorado Soil Conservation Act—are piloting the “Beyond Lawn” Water Efficient Landscape Conversion Program. WaterNow and WRA will support this program by researching existing landscape conversion programs, conducting stakeholder meetings with local organizations and individuals interested in the program, creating program application materials, and supporting program outreach, metrics, and continued funding.