To be an example for the Palos Verdes Peninsula, the City of Rolling Hills Estates and California Water Service (Cal Water) have partnered to convert City Hall’s landscaping from thirsty greenery to a beautiful, drought-tolerant garden. Rolling Hills Estates, Cal Water, and the state’s Save Our Water campaign came together this morning to dedicate the new garden and discuss the importance of making conservation a way of life.

The project, which cost about $238,400, was funded through Cal Water’s lawn-to-garden rebate program. It included the landscaping around City Hall as well as a portion of nearby Highridge Park. The Highridge Park transformation also includes a rainwater runoff feature, an important piece of landscaping on the hilly Palos Verdes Peninsula. Both gardens serve as a model for the type of water-saving landscaping residents and businesses can utilize on their own properties. Cal Water estimates that the city will save 1.33 million gallons of water per year between the two locations.

“In keeping with the City Council’s established policy of using no pesticides or herbicides, the landscape was planted with not just a goal of conservation, but also to establish a habitat for butterflies and hummingbirds,” Rolling Hills Estates Mayor Britt Huff said. “Additionally, being an equestrian community, we were mindful of providing a safe environment for visiting horses.”

Input from the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy helped with making those plant choices, so the City could be environmentally responsible while promoting water conservation.

“We are pleased to partner with the City of Rolling Hills Estates on this important water conservation project. Although conditions have been quite a bit wetter this year, with a changing climate making extreme weather patterns more frequent and severe, we can count on more dry years ahead,” said Ralph Felix, District Manager for Cal Water’s Rancho Dominguez District, which includes the Palos Verdes Peninsula. “Now is a great time to make changes like this, where water conservation becomes a way of life, so when drier years hit, our customers are already ahead of the curve.”

Yurina Melara with Save Our Water, California’s statewide water conservation program, emphasized the importance of collaboration in making conservation a way of life.

“The efforts we are highlighting today are a shining example of the partnerships we see in communities across the state,” said Melara. “Californians share the responsibility to conserve water at all levels, including state agencies, local governments, water providers, and community residents. By coming together, we are making conservation a way of life.”