2003 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 29 Sep 2003 16:15:52 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Back to Basics
Back to Basics
Cannon turns to natural landscaping
By Greg Cunningham, gcunningham@amarillonet.com
Web posted Sunday, September 28, 2003

CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. - The sod is coming up and the cacti are
going in at Cannon Air Force Base.

In an effort to preserve water resources that can be scarce in eastern
New Mexico, the base has embarked on a xeriscaping program that replaces
water-gulping green grass with plants more suited to the arid

"We're trying to conserve the resource," said Lt. Col. John Bower,
commander of the 27th Civil Engineer Squadron. "We actually produce all
the water that we use on Cannon from our well system. But like anybody
else, we know that water is a limited resource. Anything we can do to
extend that resource is worth the effort."

The program is starting in a few select areas, but plans call for
workers to pick up the pace and complete the project within three years.

When it's all said and done, Cannon will look like a much different
place, although many places will look like they did before the Air Force

Bower said workers - mostly airmen with the help of some civilian
contractors - will pull out the lush grass and thirsty bushes in most
areas and replace them with more suitable ground cover.

"We're trying to replace the grass with low maintenance and low water
requirement types of plants," Bower said. "We'll be using some of the
stuff that grows native around here."

Most of the xeriscaping will include river stones spread across an area,
dotted with low-water plants, including bushes and even some cacti. Some
areas also will get grass, but it will be native grasses that need no
extra water.

Bower said many people have been surprised by how attractive the native
species are, especially the colorful flowering bushes.

Once the whole xeriscaping plan is put into effect, base officials hope
to cut in half the 2.5 million gallons of water used each day during the

This article can be viewed at:

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