Thursday, August 16, 2007

Native plants catch on Utah... and in your neighborhood?

From the Salt Lake Tribune:

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.

"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.
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!



Blogger Lynne said...

Does a yard full of clover and dandilions count? Our neighbors with their chem-lawned yards cringe when they go past our lawn!

August 16, 2007 10:55 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

Yes, it counts, Lynne! Although I'm sometimes a believer in "better living through chemistry," I prefer the more natural yards over the chem-lawned versions (c:

August 16, 2007 11:09 AM  
Blogger Birdfreak said...

What a great idea! I love any program that encourages putting in native plants. Go "rippers"!

August 16, 2007 5:20 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

I'm going to send a letter about the program to my city council. Will you do the same, Birdfreak?

August 16, 2007 5:32 PM  
Blogger brdpics said...

That sounds like something a lout would yell at a so-called 'gentleman's club'- "Hey Baby, Rip Your Strip!"

Seriously, though- great idea. Wish I had a strip to rip. Instead, I ripped the sod on both sides of my house. I'd much rather have hummingbirds and veggies there, and saving on water is a good deal, too, both economically and ecologically.

August 16, 2007 6:43 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

You crack me up, Schmoker.

August 16, 2007 6:46 PM  
Blogger Susan Gets Native said...

As the name implies, we are all NATIVE, all the time!
My neighbors think I am crazy. Then I start listing all the birds, mammals and amphibians we have listed on our property. And they get a glimmer of their eyes.
Our neighborhood doesn't have strips, but just about every other subdivision I can think of does. I will have to check our local peeps to see if we have a Rip the Strip thingy.

August 16, 2007 9:13 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

Could that glimmer in their eyes be envy? (c:

August 17, 2007 1:17 PM  

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