Free landscaping plans available to residents of San Benito


Water-efficient gardens, like the one in Dunne Park, are encouraged in times of drought.

This article was written by Juliana Luna, intern at BenitoLink

Shawn Novack, Director from the San Benito County Water Resources Association, says that “60% of water use goes to domestic landscapes” and that “we need to start thinking about saving water.”

To encourage residents to save water, the Water resources association offers three free landscape plans on the water created by landscape designer Rosemary Bridwell. The drawings consist of different themes: a meadow, a dry stream and a promenade garden. Each plan has a value of $ 500.

Water efficient landscaping is a term for gardening practices that use water efficiently.

Since 2007, Dunne Park has been an example of the “water-wise” approach. Leo Vasquez, a member of Water Resources, takes care of the garden, located at the corner of Powell and Sixth streets.

Vasquez said the Dunne Park garden is watered twice a week, while normal gardens need to be watered three times a week. He noted that a rose garden takes up to two gallons a day and also needs to be watered three times a week.

The Dunne Park garden design includes a cobblestone path, which allows water to flow through them and into the ground.

When choosing plants, Novack said native plants should be kept in mind as they help support local biodiversity.

This year, Governor Gavin Newsom placed all of California on a drought emergency. Novack said that in May, runoff from the Sierra Cascade snowpack was drained dry by hot temperatures and parched soil. This has resulted in significant reductions in the amount of water flowing to the reservoirs.

He added that San Benito County is following Stage 1 water conservation measures as follows.

Water restriction outside

  • Watering of the landscape is limited and limited to no more than three days per week with a watering duration of 15 minutes.
  • No washing of sidewalks, driveways or other hard surfaces.
  • No car washing without the use of a fast acting positive shutoff nozzle.
  • No watering landscape that causes runoff to adjacent driveways, private and public.


  • Leaks, ruptures and malfunctions of irrigation systems and plumbing equipment causing wasted water should be repaired.

Prohibitions affecting commercial enterprises

  • Water should only be served on request in restaurants and other catering establishments.
  • Hotel and motel operators should provide guests with the option of opting out of having towels and linens washed on a daily basis and prominently displaying the notice of this option.

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