EBMUD launches the “I Heart My Garden” photo challenge

OAKLAND – The East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) is launching the “I Heart My Garden” photo challenge for EBMUD customers to celebrate the completion of their landscape conversion project and inspire others .

Between August 15 and September 25, 2022, customers are invited to submit two photos: a “before” photo and an “after” photo showing the results of their reimagined landscape. EBMUD also wants to know if switching from grass to the garden has saved water, attracted more wildlife and/or changed the way the space is used.

This is the second “I Heart My Garden” photo challenge; in 2018, over 80 customers entered the inaugural competition and winners were featured in EBMUD publications, including Customer Pipeline and EBMUD social media channels.

This year, EBMUD is proud to add two new competition categories: HOA Superstar and Business Superstar. The new award categories reinforce the idea that all customers play a role in conservation, whether they are tenants, owners, members of homeowners’ associations or businesses.

“This photo challenge is a great way to recognize those who are leaning into the call for conservation. Not only are these customers using their water wisely outdoors, which is the easiest place to reduce and the place the easier to waste, but they’re also rewarded with a beautiful garden,” said Alice Towey, water conservation manager at EBMUD. “These landscape conversions give the land what it needs – native plants and drought-tolerant – and give our guests what they need – a welcoming space to commune with nature. We are thrilled to celebrate our heroes of landscape conversion, especially with the California drought in the background. They set a good example and we hope they will inspire others to follow their example.

Landscape discount

EBMUD data shows that nearly 30% of drinking water is used by customers to water outdoor gardens. EBMUD partners with customers to facilitate water savings through rebates for replacing turf with drought-tolerant plants and upgrading to efficient irrigation equipment. Depending on a landscape’s size, shape, and microclimate, customers can save hundreds to thousands of gallons of water each day by switching from non-native grass to native or drought-tolerant plants. To help customers, EBMUD offers inspirational photos, discounts for various aspects of a conversion such as installing drip irrigation, coupons for mulch, virtual and on-site landscape audits and a host of how-to videos, all at ebmud.com/rebates. The rebates reward residential customers up to $2.50 per square foot for turf replacement up to $2,000 in credit on their water bills and businesses up to $15,000.

I Heart My Garden photo challenge rules

Between August 15 and September 25, 2022, EBMUD will accept photo submissions showing a before and after lawn conversion. There is no time limit as to when the conversion occurred, but only conversions that occurred within the EBMUD service area are eligible.

From the submissions, EBMUD’s water conservation experts will select one overall winner for each of five categories: most inspiring DIY (do it yourself), most colorful change, most dramatic, HOA superstar and business superstar.

Winners will receive prizes, such as an award-winning EBMUD book, “Plants and Landscapes for Summer-Dry Climates”, a feature on ebmud.com and on EBMUD social media, and two free tickets to the Ruth Bancroft Garden.

All decisions of EBMUD are final and not subject to challenge. EBMUD employees are not eligible to win.

Full contest rules are available at ebmud.com/IHeartMyGarden. Follow EBMUD on Facebook and Twitter for contest updates and winners to be announced in October.

The Municipal District of East Bay is proud to have provided high quality drinking water to 1.4 million customers in Alameda and Contra Costa counties. EBMUD’s wastewater system serves 740,000 customers and helps protect the San Francisco Bay Area ecosystem. EBMUD is a public non-profit organization established in

Jack C. Nugent