Lower Mainland ‘ugly lawn’ contests promote water conservation

A handful of municipalities in B.C.’s Lower Mainland are incentivizing people to conserve water by holding “ugly lawn” contests.

The cities of Chilliwack, Port Coquitlam, Abbotsford, and Mission are all holding some form of contest for dormant lawns throughout the summer.

Each competition urges residents to submit pictures of their golden brown, dried-out lawns for a chance to win prizes.

In Chilliwack, Visa gift cards ranging from $50 to $150 are up for grabs for the top three finishers of its “Ugliest Lawn Contest.” Photos of contending lawns can be sent to waterconservation@chilliwack.com.


In Port Coquitlam, the “Golden Streets” contest gives residents the chance to win one of three $100 gift cards to a local business, or a $150 gift card for a block party. Residents are urged to tag the city in social media posts of their dormant lawns by a Sept. 15 deadline.

“Water usage can increase by 50% in summer and early fall which is largely due to lawn watering,” the City of Port Coquitlam’s website says.

Abbotsford and Mission are jointly holding the “Go for Gold” contest with a similar goal in mind. Residents are encouraged to submit photos of their lawns online for a chance to win a $75, $100, or $150 water bill credit.

On Aug. 4, the Metro Vancouver Regional District enacted Stage 2 watering restrictions, bringing an end to lawn watering in the region.

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Stage 3 watering restrictions are in place in Abbotsford and Mission, banning lawn sprinkling in both cities. In Chilliwack, lawn watering is permitted once per week for residents.

According to the B.C. government’s drought information map, the entire Lower Mainland is under Level 4 drought conditions on the five-level scale.

With files from Sonia Aslam

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