WOODLAND HILLS, Calif. – Anthem Blue Cross showed off a $1.1-million landscaping project at its Woodland Hills offices that replaced an expansive lawn with drought-tolerant plants.

The new landscaping at its Oxnard Street campus is expected to save 12 million gallons of water each year while cutting the company’s annual water bill by $65,000. The costs were covered through rebates from the California Friendly Landscape Incentive Program run by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.

The five-month project involved ripping out more than 12 acres of lawn and replacing it with 8,500 plants and trees, including 1,185 Carmel Creeper bushes and 178 Crape Myrtle trees. The vegetation is expected to take up to 36 months to mature.

The LADWP’s rebate program offers up to $3.75 per square foot in rebates for residential customers and up to $3 per square foot for commercial customers. The program ties into Gov. Jerry Brown’s April 1 executive order that California reduces water usage by 25 percent statewide, which calls for replacing 50 million square feet of lawns with drought-resistant landscaping.

For the full article in the Los Angeles Business Journal, click here.