PFLUGERVILLE, Texas -- Lately, there have been a lot of visitors to Richard Arneson's front yard, like butterflies and bees. It's no mistake -- they love the drought-tolerant plants he brought to his Pflugerville home this summer.
"This was a real terrible last three years. I lost two big trees here," Arneson said.
Arneson is taking part in the city's Drop by Drop rebate program, which offers up to $500 to homeowners who re-landscape with drought-resistant plants.
Eddie Garcia is the program’s manager.
"There's people that say, 'We didn't know we had a Drop by Drop program,' and then, even though it's been advertised every year, year after year, in newsletters and newspapers and so forth, it's still new to themem. Why? Because they haven't had to take advantage of it,” Garcia said.
Even though this offer has been around for 12 years, Garcia said about 50 homeowners participated from 2001 to 2011. However, over the past two years, due to the drought, more than 75 homeowners have joined.
The City of Pflugerville said it does not want residents xeriscaping their lawns, where they rip their grass out, replace it with rocks and plant cacti. According to the city, Arneson is doing it the right way – keeping his lawn intact and planting a couple of drought-tolerant plants in his front yard.
Arneson said he may have saved as much as 20 percent on his water bill. He said he'll have a better idea next year when his plants mature.
"It's really a wonderful plan. Not only does it help me, but it helps all the homeowners and all these people in Pflugerville because Pflugerville's growing, just growing like crazy," Arneson said.
Neighbors and passersby are complimenting him on his new landscaping.
“Makes you feel good," he said.
Any Pflugerville utility customer is eligible for the program, which runs every year from October 1 through June 15.
To find out how to apply for the Drop by Drop rebate program, go here.