Native plants catch on Utah... and in your neighborhood?
When the Utah Rivers Council began its "Rip Your Strip" program in 2005, the hope was to get 100 people to commit to landscaping the area in front of their homes between the sidewalk and the road in a way suited to Utah's climate.Do you see more neighbors planting native species? Does your city or county offer a program similar to Rip Your Strip? Click that link to see dollar figures about the benefits of xeriscaping!
"We had over 1,000 people that year," said Mark Danenhauer, who oversees the program for the council.
Participants in the conservation-through-landscaping program numbered more than 2,000 last year and Danenhauer said the program has gotten another 1,000 "rippers" this year.
"There's been a culture shift," Danenhauer said. "Previously, if I was talking to a group of people about this and I asked who has heard of Xeriscaping or 'ripping your strip,' only a few hands would go up. Now, when I ask, everyone in the room holds their hand up."
Danenhauer credits the shift to people recognizing that planting water-wise yards "is not just cactus and rocks."
In the strips and yards of homes throughout the state - including no small number in Sugar House - residents can't go far without seeing well-designed landscapes that use native plants instead of grass to achieve a pleasant and welcoming look.