City of Mesa Receives Water Conservation Grant Fund Award for Non-Functional Turf Removal at Approximately 50 Mesa Parks

January 23, 2024 at 12:00 pm

Arizona's Water Infrastructure Authority (WIFA) has granted Mesa a $1.06 million Water Conservation Grant Fund Award to remove non-functional turf at approximately 50 City of Mesa parks and basins. The funds will allow the City to remove a 6-foot strip of turf adjacent to infrastructure, such as block walls, and replace it with landscape rock and cement curbing at each of the selected locations. The project, which requires a city total project match of 25%, will support Mesa's Climate Action Plan goals and the City's commitment to water stewardship and reducing water usage.

"Being responsible stewards of our water resources is an important aspect of futureproofing Mesa. We live in the desert and how we plan our landscape impacts our water conservation goals," said Mesa Mayor John Giles. "I commend Mesa Parks and Recreation staff for their initiative in pursuing this WIFA award."

This non-functional turf removal project will save over five million gallons of water annually, reducing irrigation and mowing needs at selected parks. The City also expects a reduction in complaints and damages to infrastructure.

"We are thrilled to receive this WIFA grant as it allows us to remove approximately five acres of non-functional turf in our parks," said Andrea Moore, director of the Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities Department. "The savings will help us manage our water resources in the most efficient way possible."

The parks selected for this project are located in Mesa areas primarily served by Colorado River water, which is the focus of WIFA's grant program. Removal of the non-functional turf reduces the use of existing water supplies, promotes water security, and helps reduce energy consumption associated with water pumping and treatment. The project is expected to begin in the summer of 2024, and the anticipated completion is early 2026. This project aligns with Mesa City Council's strategic priorities of Sustainable Environment and Neighborhoods and Placemaking.