Local residents hoping to learn about sustainable landscaping can get some tips at the new Airport Avenue Demonstration Gardens in Santa Monica.

The demonstration garden program provides free designs, parts specifications, support from participating stores, installation guidelines, a mobile website, and long-term maintenance tips. The city of Santa Monica held a dedication ceremony Sept. 27 for the gardens at 3200 Airport Ave.

The demonstration gardens are made up of three custom designs that city officials say blend seamlessly into one another and are aptly named Play, Relax, and Entertain. Each design offers a unique feature that fits a sustainable lifestyle and local climate conditions.

The landscapes are designed to save water, eliminate urban runoff, reduce air pollution and green waste, infiltrate rain water, and provide habitat for birds, bees, and butterflies. In addition, they can give local residents the inspiration and tools they need to install similar landscapes at home, officials said.

The demonstration area is conveniently situated for easy viewing, there is free parking available, and all the details required for installation are available online at www.sustainablesm.org/landscape.

There are a variety of rebates and funding levels to choose from and the city of Santa Monica has $600,000 in funding available to help residents and businesses install their own sustainable gardens, officials said. The city was awarded $310,000 in grant funds from the California Department of Water Resources for these types of projects.

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