River friendly landscaping options abound in Truckee | SierraSun.com

River friendly landscaping options abound in Truckee

Talia Henderson of TH Multimedia/Via aedgett@sierrAndy Otto and Jake Hudson discuss erosion control measures at a local property.
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TRUCKEE, Calif. andamp;#8212; Be a good Truckee River steward and have a beautifully landscaped property. Truckee’s L andamp; P DesignWorks landscape architect Robie Litchfield, who serves on an advisory committee for the Truckee River Watershed Council, says it’s possible.Soil erosion eventually makes its way into the Truckee River. The fine sediment reduces clarity and is a form of pollution. Litchfield says many people believe gravel is the only remedy for eroding slopes. However, there are plenty of attractive ground cover materials that can also be used locally to reduce.andamp;#8220;Low profile grasses, wildflowers, perennial and ground covers under 18 inches in height, as well as turf, are acceptable means of soil stabilization, while not compromising defensible space,andamp;#8221; Litchfield explains.She notes some adapt better to typical Truckee weather cycles and others are less water thrifty. The voluntary program River Friendly Landscaping provides free soil erosion advice and in some cases financial assistance and incentives. Many Truckee residents live close to Donner Lake, the Truckee River and Donner and Alder Creeks. The Truckee River Watershed Council and the Sierra Nevada Alliance combined efforts to launch a campaign to reach local homeowners with landscaping advice to remedy potential negative impact on the region’s water quality.Properties of special interest include homes on steep slopes, sites with highly compacted soil and homes close to surface water. There are four identified neighborhoods: North shore of Donner Lake, Tahoe Donner, the Truckee River corridor in Placer County and along East and West River Streets. Site evaluations will be given on a first-come, first-serve basis. While any homeowner within the Truckee River watershed can participate in the program, homes in the focus areas will be given priority.Interested property owners are encouraged to call 550-8760, ext. 3, to schedule a free site evaluation. Based upon the assessment, an engineering consultant will design a plan with erosion control recommendations, free of charge. When the project is completed, River Friendly Landscaping staffers will once again visit the property. Unlike Truckee’s counterparts who live in the Tahoe Basin, where such requirements are mandatory, this program is implemented on a strictly volunteer basis. Acting as a good steward is a powerful incentive to sign up for the program, however there are additional perks. Upon completion, the homeowner will be eligible for up to a $400 rebate for materials and labor costs. Each month, two lucky homeowners who voluntarily implement the erosion control measures will receive two Reno Aces tickets. The River Friendly Landscaping program is a joint project by the Truckee River Watershed Council and the Sierra Nevada Alliance. The program has been funded by the State of California through the State Water Resources Control Board.andamp;#8212; Submitted via aedgett@sierrasun.com

Homeowners are also eligible to receive a complimentary full-color guide to landscaping in the Sierra Nevada. Published by the Sierra Nevada Alliance the 160-page manual offers great landscaping inspiration with dozens of photographs and how-to tips.