Residential Landscape Design Assistance Program (Now Online)

NOTE: This program is in the process of being phased out. We are hard at work putting together an exciting new set of landscape design resources to better assist the community with waterwise landscape design. Participants who have already taken the Landscape Transformation Basics workshop can still participate by requesting an appointment at the link below until May 30, 2022. Appointments must be completed before June 17, 2022.

For community members who are interested but will be unable to participate: We apologize for any inconvenience as we phase this program out. Please check out our design related resources on our Inland Valley Garden Planner website, here; our YouTube workshops, here; and be sure to sign up for our newsletter, here, to get announcements about upcoming landscape design related resources and live workshops.

Homes within the communities we serve can qualify for free landscape design services.

Single family residential properties with water provided by Chino, Chino Hills, Fontana, Monte Vista Water District, Ontario, Cucamonga Valley Water District, and Upland are eligible for a no-cost landscape design consultation and design for either a front or back yard after attending our Landscape Transformation Basics Workshop. Participation in the program requires a $100 deposit, fully refunded if a waterwise landscape meeting program requirements is installed within twelve months of participation. This program is offered in partnership with local water providers and the Inland Empire Utilities Agency.

All landscape design appointments will take place online via free ZOOM screen-sharing software. You will need to be able to download and install Zoom software. If you do not have the ability to do this, and meet all the other program requirements for participation, please submit the request to contact us or call our main phone number at 909-626-2711. We will do our best to find a solution to accommodate you.

Before you request your appointment, please read this entire list. Participants need to understand all aspects of the following information:

  • Participants are required to attend our two and a half-hour "Landscape Transformation Basics" class before they become eligible to register for the Landscape Design Assistance Program. As we conclude this program, we are currently only offering appointments to community members who have already attended the workshop.  We check registration in this program against online attendance lists from the class. 
  • The program requires a $100 deposit for participation, fully refundable if the landscape project is significantly completed within twelve months receiving the completed design documents AND both the post-consultation and the program completion surveys are completed. We estimate that this service has a market value of approximately $500.
  • Due to high demand, appointments must be made with at least two weeks notice.
  • Due to program demand, we can provide an appointment and design for EITHER a front yard OR a back yard, but not both. If you complete the first project, you can qualify to work with us to design the other part of your property.
  • Appointments are scheduled in the order qualified requests are received.
  • To make an appointment, please read the rest of the information, then click on the link to submit the online request form, found towards the bottom of this page.
  • After making an appointment, participants must send multiple digital images of their project area and site measurements to Images and measurements must be received at least one week prior to the appointment so staff can review and prepare for the appointment. While detailed site measurements will allow us to provide you with the best design for your site, if you are unable to take site measurements, we can often use aerial photography from Google Maps to get sufficient dimensions. You will have to notify us that you would like us to use the aerial photography and confirm with us that we can obtain a sufficient image. Tree canopy or the angle of the available photography may prevent us from being able to use aerial photography depending on multiple conditions. Measurements taken by you usually work the best. We can answer questions about taking measurements when we set an appointment date and time with you.
  • Participants must also fill out the "Design Assistance Program Participant Agreement Form", available here, sign it, and email it to at least one week before the appointment date. You can use Adobe Acrobat Reader to fill out information and your signature; or print, fill out, and scan the entire document.
  • Participants must mail in the $100 deposit check, to be received at least one week before the appointment date. We will provide the address and additional details with the appointment confirmation email.
  • Before the appointment, participants will select a "Plant Palette" from our eight available selections which can be found in the top eight selections here. These palettes reflect the diversity of what we have found the vast majority of people in our region want for their new landscapes. You will need to let us know your plant palette selection when you send us your site images, at least one week before the consultation appointment, so we can get the computer files set up for your consultation. If you have other ideas for the plants in your waterwise landscape design or if none of these palettes work well for your vision, we may be able to create a custom palette to meet your vision. Please let us know this as early as possible so we can try to accommodate the request. Note, this may require us to reschedule your appointment to make the time for this extra work.
  • At the time of the design consultation appointment experienced Chino Basin Water Conservation District staff member will consult with participants for approximately 1.5 - 2 hours over the free ZOOM screen-sharing application. Participants will receive the details to log in to their ZOOM meeting as part of an appointment confirmation email.
  • This program is primarily focused on designing waterwise landscape plantings. It is not in the scope of the program to provide extensive design of hardscape, retaining walls, or landscape structures. We are happy to include new walks, patio spaces, etc. in the design to the extent possible within the time we have to assist each participant.
  • Participants must do their own due diligence to ensure that all elements of the design meet city requirements and determine if permits are required.
  • Cities have code requirements for plant density of landscape areas. Most local cities require a minimum of 50% plant coverage at maturity for landscape areas. For this reason, designs produced as part of this program must be designed to have a minimum of 50% plant coverage when the plants are mature. Please understand that your design will need to meet this minimum or have a greater plant density.
  • Before the appointment, think about your budget for your landscape project. Will you be doing the work yourself or hiring a contractor? Are you replacing plants only or do you plan to install new walks, patios, etc? Do you think you will need a new irrigation system? We cannot tell you how much your project will cost because that depends on many factors beyond the scope of this program, but if we have an idea of your budget, we can help advise to try to provide a reasonable design that will work for what you hope to spend.
  • At the appointment, participants will discuss goals for the landscape and then work with us as we create a computer-generated design for the landscape project. Participants will use this design and a plant identification key as a guide for installing plants and materials into the new landscape, or to provide the design to their contractor.
  • After the consultation meeting, CBWCD staff will finish the design. We will also provide a plant identification key and a plant list with the names and information about each plant selected for the designed landscape. Participants will be mailed these documents either electronically or physically, depending on the clients’ preferences, upon confirmation from IEUA that deposit checks have cleared. Participants should receive their document package within approximately three weeks of the consultation appointment. The design plan will be a "birds eye view" image, graphically depicting your site and the mature size of the plantings, from above to use as a guide for planting your new landscape and purchasing plants. See below for examples of landscape plans.
  • Clients will also be provided with a list of resources including sources of plants and other landscape materials.
  • This program focuses on landscape design. If you have questions about your irrigation system, learn more about our Landscape Evaluation/Audit Program here
  • We cannot provide appointments for landscape contractors, designers, etc. (unless it is for your own house).
  • $100 refundable deposit details: Due to the significant cost to the providers of this free service, we need to ensure participants are serious about taking on their landscaping project. Requiring a fully refundable deposit has been shown to be an effective way to accomplish this.  Deposit checks will be deposited by the Inland Empire Utility Agency. To receive a refund for the deposit check, program participants must provide clear photographs of their completed project, emailed to within twelve months of being sent their design documents. Significant completion is defined as turf being removed if turf was present, and over half of the new plants installed. Upon receipt of proof of completion and participants completing the required online surveys, the Inland Empire Utility Agency will issue a $100 refund check to the person who wrote the deposit check.
  • To request your appointment fill out our online form (preferred) or call 909-626-2711. We are happy to answer any additional questions about the program you may have, either at the phone number above or at

Plan Image Examples:

Desert Template Large Front Yard Example

Desert Template Medium Front Yard Example