Chandler begins design process for turf to xeriscape conversion in retention areas

Feb. 26, 2024
Chandler City Hall signage at night

CHANDLER, Ariz. – On Feb. 22, Chandler City Council awarded a professional services agreement to J2 Engineering & Environmental Design for the Turf to Xeriscape Program Design Services, in an amount not to exceed $440,889.

This program is a three-year plan to convert non-functional grass in 14 city-maintained landscaped drainage basins, or retention areas, to xeriscape. There are multiple factors that are involved when converting grass to xeriscape, a low water use landscape. This includes the cost associated with grass removal, edge preparation, pre-emergent for weed treatment, as well as the installation of 3/4" screened granite, drip irrigation and desert-adapted shrubs and trees.

There are some cost savings that will be associated with this xeriscape conversion. Costs to maintain the existing irrigation system would be reduced along with the costs associated with the annual mowing and turf maintenance contract. Removing the grass areas will also reduce water usage and the associated water costs by 50% to 75%. This program is one step towards the goal of reducing water consumption where possible.

When this project is completed, there will be significant savings in money and water. It is estimated that the Turf to Xeriscape Program will save the city more than 20 million gallons of water each year, which would result in the city saving more than $50,000 in water usage each year, plus landscape maintenance costs.

Any projects under this program will involve public outreach to adjacent residential and business areas prior to conversion to xeriscape. This program will impact public drainage areas only; no developed city parks are included.

The project scope of work consists of preliminary site design concepts, field surveys, utility coordination, permitting assistance, cost estimates and construction document preparation.

Media Contact:
Toni Smith
City of Chandler, Marketing and Communications Manager