Thanks to an infusion of cash from the Metropolitan Water District, Long Beach residents can now get more money and replace more turf with drought-tolerant landscaping.

The Long Beach Water Department announced changes to the water conservation program Tuesday. In addition to reopening applications to receive rebates, there were a number of changes to the residential program.

Starting Monday, April 1, the front yard conversion incentive goes to $3 per square foot of turf removed (from $2). The maximum square footage allowed for rebate has increased from 1,500 square feet to 5,000 square feet.

For the first time, people also can get money for converting back yards and side yards. That rebate is $2 a square foot.

Business owners also get a bigger break. The commercial incentive will be $2 a square foot, and up to 50,000 square feet of turf removal will be reimbursed.

"We are proud to make these changes to our flagship Lawn-to-Garden program," Gloria Cordero, Water Commission president, said in a release. "Sustainability is our way of life in Long Beach, and these changes will allow for a greater number of beautiful, California-friendly landscape conversions and, ultimately, more water savings."

Only one project per person per year is allowed, but people who have converted their front yard in the past are eligible for back and side yard program.

For more information and to apply for the program, go to lblawntogarden.com or call (562) 570-2429.

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