Congratulations to the ten winners of our first annual Water Authority Desert Friendly Landscape Contest! Thank you for sharing your beautiful gardens with us. They will be an inspiration for others to make the switch to desert-friendly landscapes.

A Garden for the Senses

What once was a sandy empty lot in the NW has now become a garden that provides food, attracts birds and other pollinators and stimulates the five senses. “The flowers smell great through the seasons, we grow vegetables that we use on our plates,” say homeowners Adam and Meagan Henrie, who like the balance of having aesthetically pleasing and functional areas in the garden.

The Henrie’s accessed online resources, including, to help decide which plants to incorporate into their garden. During trips to local garden centers, they identified plants that were thriving in their neighborhood. They chose low-maintenance, drought-tolerant plants and installed a drip and spray irrigation system using the latest technology. Local irrigation supply stores helped them choose irrigation system components and come up with a design for the irrigation system that they could follow.

When they planted new trees, they turned to the Water Authority and took advantage of the Treebate from the Water Authority. This rebate program also helps them with costs for tree maintenance.

“We love that our oasis attracts pollinators like birds, bees, butterflies, and also other wildlife like rabbits and roadrunners,” say Meagan.

100’s of Pollinators Can’t be Wrong!

The landscape around Elliott house in the NE used to be a sea of gravel, but now it is recognized by the Fish and Wildlife Backyard Refugee Program. During the past several years, Elliott has spent time transforming his yard into a habitat that attracts insects and wildlife.

“I wanted a yard that will change through the seasons and has a diversity of local drought-tolerant native plants,” he explains. “My goal was to add plants that will attract pollinators, so I started with the ones that were growing in the wild.”

Elliott learned about plants by doing lots of research, including reading information on the Albuquerque Native Plant Society’s website, accessing a list of plants from the Backyard Refugee Program, and visiting the store Plants of the Southwest. His goal was to have a lush, diverse and sustainable landscape that benefits wildlife and does not depend on supplemental water outside of rainwater.

Like the Henrie’s, Elliott has taken advantage of the Water Authority’s Treebate when planting new trees.

“I love all the pollinators, diversity of plants, and my learning journey along the way. Now I get to educate and share my experience with others,” says Elliott, who hopes his yard is an inspiration to his friends and neighbors.

Low Water Paradise

With the goal of reducing water usage, the owners of this home in the Northeast Heights first turned their attention to the property’s big, hardly-used front lawn. Once they learned about the Xeriscape rebate from the Water Authority, they immediately called to get more information and help with choosing plants that would enhance their property.

The transformation started by renting a sod cutter to remove the lawn as part of the Desert Friendly Xeriscape Conversion Rebate. They were able to save the turfgrass and transplant it to their son’s yard.

Landscape professionals were hired to create a design and install the swale, plants, and drip irrigation system. It only took one week to transform the 880-square-foot front yard from a high-water use turf lawn to a desert-friendly xeriscape with a diversity of plants that are supported by rain and drip irrigation.

Because of the transformation, the homeowners earned an $880 credit on their water bill!  An extra benefit came when they participated in the Treebate program. Now, the homeowners take pride in their yard, which has attracted pollinators and interest from neighbors. They also are learning how to maintain and care for their new plants so their landscape will continue to bring enjoyment in the years ahead

Learn more about our rebates here:


Desert friendly Xeriscape Conversion Rebate

Local Desert Friendly Landscapes Reveal

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