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Posted by on May 23, 2017 in News | 0 comments

Winners accept recognition, prizes

Winners accept recognition, prizes

sign-artSeveral water agencies and some happy residential customers gathered Sunday at the Water Conservation Garden’s amphitheater to celebrate and recognize winners in the water purveyors’ Annual WaterSmart Landscape Contest.

Known for many years as the California-Friendly Landscape Contest, the yearly event rewards customers who forego high-water-use lawns and create aesthetic beauty in their yards with drought-tolerant plants, bushes, trees and hardscape features.

The Water Conservation Garden’s director of horticulture & exhibits, Clayton Tschudy, served as master of ceremonies. As in the past several years, Tschudy deftly told of the contest’s history and purpose and introduced each agency’s presenter.

Agency representatives delivered prizes ($250 gifts cards) and certificates to the winners who also were given an opportunity to tell about the challenges and achievements they experienced in creating their unique landscapes.

Since the Garden also was hosting Water Agency Customer Appreciation Day, contest winners, family members and guests were able to enjoy the six-acre facility and view its attractions, such as an “open house” at its vegetable garden and the ever popular Butterfly Pavilion.  Water Agencies sponsored free Kona Ice for the kids and a food truck offered its wares for hungry parents.

Below is a complete list of contest winners with links to photos of their top yards.

California American Water * Priscilla Jones
Escondido * Michael Montgomery
Helix Water District * Dusty Patel-Lynch
Oceanside * Elaine Johnston
Otay Water District * Allan & Rose Wood
Padre Dam Municipal Water District * Tammy Justice
San Diego * Lilia Valeeva & Thomas Aleksander
San Dieguito Water District * Brendan Laurs
Sweetwater Authority * JR & Janine Nacar
Vallecitos Water District * Cynthia Jones
Vista Irrigation District * Len & Robin Judd

Call for entries for the contest usually begin in January of the competition year and the deadline for submissions is in early April. See judging criteria to get a jump start on your own low-water-use yard.

For landscaping ideas, expert advice, exhibits and classes, visit the Water Conservation Garden, located at 12122 Cuyamaca College Drive West in El Cajon, or go to