California Native Plant Society
Sponsored by the Department
of Water Resources

Education Program - Workshops and Professional Training

Ditch Your Lawn!
Residential Landscape Conversion Workshops
for Homeowners

Did you know: the average 1,000 square foot lawn requires 30,000 gallons of water per year?

Save water during the drought: replace your thirsty lawn with native plants!

California native plants:

  • can use up to 75% less water than traditional turf lawns,
  • create a beautiful garden to enjoy year-round,
  • attract birds and butterflies,
  • provide natural wildlife habitat, and
  • require less maintenance than turf lawns!

Learn how to ditch YOUR lawn and replace it with native plants.

By attending a workshop, you will gain the knowledge and resources you need to convert your lawn into a flourishing, watersaving native plant garden. We'll teach you about the environmental benefits of gardening with natives, and how you can save time on yard maintenance, as you save money by reducing your water bill. You'll learn step-by-step how to plan a new native plant garden, remove your existing lawn, install your new native plants, and then maintain them for years to come.

A residential native plant landscape in Northern California. This could be your yard!

No prior knowledge or experience is necessary.

Homeowners, landscapers, urban planners, gardening enthusiasts, and anyone else who would like to learn how to replace their lawn with beautiful, water-saving California native plants are encouraged to attend a workshop.

Workshops are free!

Registration information coming soon. Class sizes are limited to 50 people, so pre-registration is required. Detailed venue information will be provided by e-mail after you register.

City Date Time Venue Instructor Registration
Sacramento July 19 1 pm - 5 pm American River College, Community Rooms 1 & 2 Chris Lopez Closed
Sept. 27 1 pm - 5 pm American River College, Community Rooms 1 & 2 Chris Lopez Closed
Modesto July 18 Noon - 4 pm Salida Library Auditorium Jeff Gamboni Closed
Sept. 26 Noon - 4 pm Modesto Public Library Jeff Gamboni Closed
Redding July 25 1 pm - 5 pm McConnell Foundation - Lema Ranch Conference Room John Whittlesey Closed
Oct. 17 1 pm - 5 pm McConnell Foundation - Lema Ranch Conference Room John Whittlesey Closed
Chico July 26 1 pm-5 pm Arc Pavilion John Whittlesey Closed
Oct. 18 1 pm-5 pm Arc Pavilion John Whittlesey Closed



Stop Watering Now!


Let your lawn die over the summer to save precious water during the drought, and you'll have a head start on your new native landscaping!


Ditch Your Lawn! Course Outline

Benefits of ditching your lawn
Benefits of native plant gardening

1. Planning your new garden.
You will learn to organize your space and draw your new design, and the basics of how to create a site plan with a long-term view in mind. Learn how to plan for watering, including using rainwater, and plan and install your new garden's irrigation. Learn where and how to select and buy plants, and how to install hardscaping.

2. How to remove your lawn.
You will pick the appropriate method for removing your lawn, which will vary based on the type of grass you have. Learn best practices for clearing weeds and making space for your new habitat.

3. Installing your new landscaping.
You'll plan for your planting day, and learn planting and mulching tips, such as when and what kind of mulch to use, the size of the planting hole, and watering strategies. Learn habitat considerations to attract beautiful birds, butterflies, and other wildlife that will benefit your plants.

4. Maintaining your garden.
You will learn best practices for pruning, controlling weeds, and replacement planting. Seasonal maintenance, troubleshooting, and other strategies for long-term garden success and enjoyment will be covered to ensure you'll enjoy your new garden for years to come.


All participants will be provided relevant handouts, including local native plant lists, and a list of local native plant nurseries and seed suppliers.

Download the print-friendly flyer for these workshops (PDF)


If you have questions about this or any other CNPS workshops, please contact Becky Reilly, CNPS Events Coordinator, at 916-447-2677 x207 or

View the complete schedule of CNPS 2015 Plant Science Workshops

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