Water-Wise Plant Exchange Set for May 7

With metered water rates on the horizon, there’s never been a better time to begin conserving water by incorporating water-wise plants and efficient irrigation techniques in your landscapes and gardens. The Water-Wise Plant Exchange on May 7 at the Fresno State Horticulture Greenhouses is the perfect opportunity to pick up some drought-resistant plants, for free, and learn how to save water in your yards.

Home gardeners are encouraged to donate water-wise plants at the exchange, from 8 a.m. to noon at 3150 E. Barstow Ave., just east of Chestnut Avenue. Trees, cuttings bulbs and seeds will also be available and gratefully accepted throughout the event.

Master Gardeners, and others with expertise in native and water-wise plants, will be on hand to offer advice for nurturing yards and gardens that are beautiful and can thrive in San Joaquin Valley weather with a minimal amount of water. Free brochures will be available on native plants and other water-wise plants that thrive in our climate, along with information about the new Central Valley Friendly Landscape Awards Program and planting activities for kids.

The City of Fresno’s transition to water meters makes now the time to rethink the way we use water, and conserving this invaluable natural resource in our front and back yards is a great place to start. Landscape irrigation represents up to 70% of water used in a typical household. Much of it is wasted by inefficient irrigation and water-guzzling plants.

For example, households can save 15-25 gallons of water per day by adjusting sprinklers so they don’t water driveways, streets and sidewalks. And water-wise San Joaquin Valley-friendly trees and plants use 2/3 less water than other plants.

While a wet winter and significant snow pack has brought some good water news this year, recovering from a three-year drought and preparing for the next one, will still require all of us to conserve.

May is Water Awareness Month and the Water-Wise Plant Exchange underscores the need to conserve our precious natural resource. Partners in the plant exchange include: the City of Fresno Water Conservation Program, Central Valley Water Awareness Committee, California State University, Fresno’s Horticulture Unit, University of California Cooperative Extension, Master Gardener Program, California Native Plant Society, Clovis Botanical Gardens, Tree Fresno, Irrigation Association, Water-wise Landscape Design and International Center for Water Technology at CSUF.

For a list of water-wise plants, water conservation gardening tips and many other ways to save water inside and outside the home visit www.fresno.gov/water or call the City of Fresno Water Conservation Program at (559) 621-5480.