As California endures yet another drought of historic proportions, municipalities are finding innovative ways to incentivize reducing water use among residents. After the Marin County Board of Supervisors declared a local emergency in May, Marin Water, the water agency serving southern and central Marin, started a free sheet mulching program called “Mulch Madness.” This program invites residents to convert their irrigated (and very water-demanding) lawn to save thousands of gallons of water. Mulch Madness includes the delivery and installation of sheet mulching materials, and permanently disabling existing lawn sprinklers.

The hard workers removing lawns, laying mulch, and disabling sprinklers are our very own crews! CCNB Natural Resources crew supervisors and corpsmembers received an extensive training from Daily Acts to learn about sheet mulching and the benefits of this technique, both for soil health and water conservation purposes. After working for two days on a training site, the crew started completing projects on their own at the rate of one household per day, giving homeowners the blank canvas to create more water-conscious landscaping. Our crews have converted lawns of all sizes across Marin County, mitigating water use during this drought and into the future. One square foot of lawn uses approximately 20 gallons of water every year, so every single inch we can convert counts.