New Drought Tolerant Landscape Installed at Fire Department Station 19

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Long Beach Fire Department Station 19 prior to transformation.

Long Beach Fire Department Station 19 prior to transformation.

Amid the State Water Resources Control Board’s final action on emergency regulations designating an immediate 25 percent reduction in overall potable urban water use, and as Governor Brown calls for large fines on water wasters and for increased enforcement powers afforded to local jurisdictions, the City of Long Beach is leading by example through lawn removal and drought-tolerant landscape installations at locations synonymous with high water usage including fire stations.

Most recently, Long Beach Fire Department Station 19 adjacent to Skylinks Golf Course, near the city-owned airport and facing a residential neighborhood is a constant reminder to passersby that mandatory water conservation requirements have become the norm rather than the exception. The new front entrance to the fire station replaces a previously existing lawn and now features Myrtus communis and landscaping with bursts of color, made possible by local rebate, incentive and grant programs.

“I commend our Fire Department for their initiative and eagerness in bringing this transformation to fruition,” said Long Beach Councilwoman Stacy Mungo. “With unprecedented mandatory water cutbacks, the last thing we want is to burden taxpayers even more; this lawn-to-garden conversion serves as a reminder that across all departments the City is working collectively to help residents save water and money.”

Workers plant drought tolerant plants during transformation at Station 19.

Workers plant drought tolerant plants during transformation at Station 19.

Through its Lawn-to-Garden (L2G) Turf Replacement Program, the Long Beach Water Department (LBWD) offers up to $3,500 based on $3.50 per square foot to property owners who seek to convert their lawns to drought tolerant landscaping, while the Synthetic Turf Pilot Program (STPP) offers $2.50 a square foot for lawn replacements up to 1,000 square feet.

“While lawn conversion is one measure for water reduction during this historic drought, it fits into the larger picture of an array of water saving programs available,” said Long Beach Councilmember Al Austin. “It is important for the city to consider all options that include building on the energy efficient models and technology-driven solutions currently in place.”

On April 21, the City Council requested the City Manager to report back within forty-five days on the city’s plans for achieving the new scope of statewide mandatory water restrictions and asked the Water Department to also provide an update on additional water conservation actions being taken.

“The Fire Department’s spirit of service and commitment to ensuring the well-being of our community is exemplified in this latest action,” said Long Beach Fire Chief Mike DuRee. “We are always striving to be at the forefront of promoting fire safety, especially given the severe drought conditions before us.”

For more information on any one of the water conservation programs being offered in Long Beach, visit, or to report a water waster call the LBWD hotline at 562-570-2455.

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