The Town of Okotoks’ Water Conservation Rebate program has been expanded again this year.

The program offers incentives for Okotokians to integrate water-saving products and plants into their homes by offering rebates on qualifying items.

Returning items include drought-tolerant grass, rain barrels, and water timers, but there are some new additions this year.

Environment and Sustainability Coordinator Jinny Toffelmire says much of it pertains to yards.

“We have rebates on some really great compost, as long as that compost is 100 per cent composted animal manure or is plant-based compost. The reason for this is because the soil in our area is a very clay-based soil, so by adding compost, we can loosen it up a little bit, provide some good micro-organisms and good healthy bacteria into the soil that help our plants retain more water, get more nutrients. It’s good stuff.”

The town is also looking to promote an increase in the tree canopy in residential areas, so they have a few offers relating to trees.

That includes a 50 per cent rebate up to $100 on traditional indigenous plants, seeds, and drought-tolerant plants. These plants were identified in the town’s Traditional Knowledge and Land Use Assessment.

Another is the “Fruit Tree Replacement” rebate.

“If you have recently planted some kind of fruit-bearing tree, we are offering a rebate of up to $500 to take out that tree and replace it with something from our drought-tolerant tree list that we have online. The idea behind this is to put in something that’s a little more drought tolerant, but also we want to take away any food we might be offering to the deer in our community. Fruit trees are great, but maybe our front yards and places the deer can get at them aren’t the places for them to be. So if you’ve got a tree that’s under 15 centimeters in circumference, then this rebate is for you,” says Toffelmire.

One of the more unique items included in the program is toilets.

Many older homes include high-flow toilets that flush over 13L per flush. Residents who replace them with newer “WaterSense” labeled toilets can get 50 per cent back up to $100 per toilet.

More information on the program can be found on the town’s website.