Lawn-to-Garden Incentive (L2G) Program Design Requirements
(Projects Submitted Prior to July 1, 2018)

Before you complete the application for this program you must read and understand these Design Requirements as well as the Terms and Conditions and the Process Guidelines.

If your application for the Lawn-to-Garden (L2G) Incentive program has been approved, the next steps in the process are for you to complete the on-line landscape class and submit to LBWD, within 45 calendar days of LBWD having approved your application, the design of your proposed new landscape.

Design Requirements

Remember: You have NOT yet been approved for funding. You cannot be approved until LBWD approves the design of your new landscape. So IF you begin work on your new landscape before the design is approved and the pre-inspection is complete, you do so prior to a commitment from LBWD to provide an incentive. Killing or removing the grass or beginning garden construction before construction approval is given by LBWD will disqualify you from the program.

The design you submit to us is the design that must be installed. LBWD will not be required to make the L2G payment if the installed landscape is not the same as the approved design. Read carefully the Terms and Conditions for more information.

A professionally-drawn design is NOT required: A simple, hand-drawn design is fine, using circles to show where bushes will go, etc. LBWD assumes most of the designs submitted to us will be simple pencil drawings done by your typical homeowner. The drawing must show enough detail to illustrate the overall project design. All designs must also include the name and location of each plant that will be used in the project.

When thinking about the design of your new landscape, don’t forget to take advantage of all the landscape resources we have developed for your benefit and use. This website was designed to make each step as easy as possible for you. Also check out our Helpful Tips.

If, after reading these requirements, you have any questions about what’s required here please contact us at, or call us at 562-570-2312.

The Irrigation System

Although you are not required to show the irrigation system in your drawing, the irrigation system, if there is one, MUST be water-efficient. Examples of water-efficient irrigation systems include

  • Drip irrigation;
  • Bubblers for shrubs and trees;
  • Rotating sprinklers rated at emitting less than one gallon of water per minute.
  • Pressure regulators, allowing no more pressure than recommended by the manufacturer of the drip system (usually about 10 to 15 psi) or the rotating sprinklers (usually about 35 psi).
  • Separate valves for each part of the landscape (known as ‘hydrozones’) that needs a different watering schedule.

Inefficient irrigation systems include traditional fan-spray type sprinklers. LBWD may verify the efficiency of the irrigation system during its final inspection, prior to its payment of the Lawn-to-Garden incentive.

Send us Your Design

After you have completed the design of your new landscape in accordance with the above Design Requirements, send it to us, along with any additional information as necessary, using one of these three options:

  1. Email the documents to  Emailed documents CANNOT be photographs of the original documents. .JPG and .PNG files are NOT accepted.
  2. Send U.S. Mail or personal delivery to:

Lawn-to-Garden Incentive
c/o Water Conservation
Long Beach Water Department
1800 East Wardlow Road
Long Beach, CA 90807

Once LBWD approves your proposed design you will be given the go-ahead by us to begin work on your new garden.

What to Include in Your Design

As mentioned, the drawing can be done by a non-professional and by hand. Although the drawing does not have to be at a high level of detail, it should show enough detail to illustrate the overall project design.

Your drawing must comply with the following:

    1. The top-right corner of each page you submit MUST include the street address of the project, so we are able to match your drawing with your application.
    2. Your drawing MUST show exactly where the new landscape will be in relation to large, existing fixtures such as the street, sidewalk, driveway, home, etc.In addition to showing these large existing features, the drawing must provide the measurements (or size) of the area to be re-landscaped, in square feet. Final incentive payment will be made based on the square feet of the final project as determined by LBWD.
    3. Your drawing MUST label the plants that you will put in the new landscape, AND you must state if the plants are from the two websites listed below.If the full names of the plants will not fit on the drawing, feel free to use a code for the plants on the drawing, adding the associated plant names on a separate piece of paper.Only California-friendly plants may be installed as part of this landscape project. Two fantastic sites for selecting beautiful California-friendly plants are LA Coastal Gardens and Visit our “Plant” page for help selecting the right plants.These sites provide details on more than 1,500 different kinds of beautiful plants as well as virtual tours of beautiful landscapes and gardens.All plants on these two websites are acceptable plants, with the exception of turf-looking grasses. If you choose to install plants that are NOT on either of these two sites, the plants you choose MUST be pre-approved by the LBWD.
    4. Your Drawing MUST state: which option you will commit to:

      • Option 1: That all the plants shown on your drawing are among the over 1,500 beautiful California-Friendly plants showcased on LA Coastal Gardens and; or
      • Option 2: NOT all the plants on your drawing are showcased on these two website. If you choose Option #2, you MUST submit with the drawing printouts from the Water Use Classification of Landscape Species (WUCOLS) website showing that the plants are rated as “Low” or “Very Low” when grown in the South Coastal region.
    5. Your drawing MUST show that plant material will cover at least 65% of the newly landscaped areaYour new landscape MUST be designed such that it can reasonably be assumed that at least 65-percent of the site will be covered with plant material by the time the plants are mature, or within two years, which ever is sooner. This “reasonable” assumption will be made at the sole discretion of LBWD. An example of what is NOT acceptable: a new landscape that is almost entirely graveled, containing few if any living plants.
    6. 100% of the new landscape MUST be covered with materials such as plants, compost and mulch, and permeable “hardscape”Your new landscape MUST be installed such that 100% of the area will be covered with materials such as plants, mulch or permeable hardscape.
      Examples of permeable hardscape include pavers and brick set on a bed of sand, where no mortar or grout has been used.If not covered by permeable hardscape or plant material, your new landscape must be completely covered by at least a 2-inch layer of mulch. Acceptable mulch includes rock, compost, bark and other organic material.In other words, there can be no bare soil or installation of non-permeable (material water cannot easily penetrate) hardscape such as a concrete patio or walkway.
    7. If you are re-landscaping your parkway, it must meet all of the requirements of the City of Long Beach Municipal Code (Chapter 21.42.050)Designing a landscape for your parkway can be especially challenging. We have provided a few tips here to help you meet the requirements, and at the same time make your parkway the most beautiful one in the neighborhood. Compliance with the City of Long Beach Municipal Code Chapter 21.42.050 is one of the criteria for final approval and is your responsibility. You should read the applicable section of the code in its entirety by clicking here.
    8. Your drawing must NOT include any turf grass, artificial or synthetic* turf, or turf-looking grass
      No turf grass, artificial or synthetic* turf, or turf-looking grass (such as Buffalo Grass) is allowed in the newly landscaped site. Mexican feather grass (Nassella tenuissima) is prohibited from the Lawn to Garden program. For a list of invasive species alternatives, visit Cal-IPC and PlantRight.

* Synthetic turf is allowed on qualified sports fields only and must be installed per industry standards. Description of installation must be submitted prior to approval of synthetic turf application, and proper installation will be verified at final inspection.