Thursday, June 25, 2009

Peccole Ranch Turf Conversion: Beautiful Common Sense

Las Vegas has been criticized over the years as a water-wasting community, and with good reason. For many years, our community landscaped like we were in Minnesota instead of the Mojave Desert; beautiful, green golf courses and water-hungry residential areas like The Lakes and Peccole Ranch. With the arrival of a prolonged drought, things are starting to look a little different around here.

Peccole Ranch has contracted with Par 3 Landscaping to begin converting turf in some of its common areas. The top two pictures are an area that has been converted to xeriscape. The bottom two pictures (at the end of the post) are an old original section of "greenbelt" just across the street from the new, water-friendly area. Last year during summer, Peccole paid $75,000.00 a month for water--yes, seventy-five thousand dollars, you read that correctly.

Turf conversion makes good sense, both monetarily and environmentally. As you can see, the converted areas are very pretty. The Peccole HOA made a wise decision in the face of increasing water rates and decreasing water availability. They're also taking advantage of the Water District's rebate program, which offers extra incentive to embrace more desert-appropriate landscape. The only drawback I noticed about the converted area was a significant temperature difference between it and the turf-heavy area, but we are in the desert, after all.


Anonymous said...

The Peccole Ranch grassy area is a public open space/park that also serves as a flood prevention area - basically, it turns into a river during heavy rains. The problem with dirt is that it travels with the water and clogs the drains that feed back into Lake Mead. So only a few areas outside of that flood area were converted. The biggest use of water in the greenscape is due to very old irrigation. It was estimated that approx. 80% (minimum!) of the water is wasted and updating the irrigation would then require 20% or less of the current water usage. The grassy area also keeps many homes cooler and therefore less energy is used in cooling the homes. The green open space is used as a cooler walking area for families and pets for people and pets from Peccole Ranch and also from neighboring communities. In the converted area, some people complained that dogs were using the "facilities" on the rocks instead of the green patches and wasn't completely picked up (you have to pick up a handful of rock with the droppings). Consequently, it draws insects and when it's hot and the wind blows, the smell carries on the wind.

TH Meeks said...

Thanks for the comments -- I've been pleasantly surprised that despite water restrictions, Peccole has been very attentive to keeping the greenery in as many areas as possible. It's a privately owned area, which makes their stewart-ship that much more appreciated.