Contact: Joe Vargo, Perris Public Information Officer
Phone: 951-956-2120
jvargo@cityofperris.org

Dyed Lawns Attract Interest of Local, National, and International News

City Councilman Mark Yarbrough watches as Bryan Roberts applies a coat of green paint. German videographer Gabor Krienke captures the action
City Councilman Mark Yarbrough watches as Bryan Roberts applies a coat of green paint. German videographer Gabor Krienke captures the action.

The world can’t get enough of Perris’ lawn rejuvenation program.

Since the effort to spray a non-toxic, biodegradable green dye on distressed lawns began three months ago, media from around the globe have trekked to Perris to tell the story, take pictures and talk to City elected officials and staff about the innovative program.

Journalists from Germany, Finland, Spain, Los Angeles and Riverside have already visited Perris to witness the lawn rejuvenation program first-hand. Others from France and San Francisco are expected to arrive sometime this summer.
Editor Kirsten Moser and videographer Gabor Krienke from German Focus TV were the latest foreign journalists to visit Perris, arriving June 3 and spending most of the day in the City. They were joined by KTLA-Channel 5 reporter Gayle Anderson, who did several live reports explaining the lawn colorization process from start to finish and praised the effort as “genius.”

“Lots of communities have the same problem but you have an idea about how to deal with it and that’s good,” Anderson said. “It’s an ego boost and a confidence builder for the neighborhood. It makes the neighborhood look good and it’s a symbol of how determined people are to survive this crisis.”

Anderson, Landers and Associate Planner Sabrina Chavez in front of a lawn on Monument Drive that was dyed green as part of the rejuvenation process
Anderson, Landers and Associate Planner Sabrina Chavez in front of a lawn on Monument Drive that was dyed green as part of the rejuvenation process.

Moser said Germans are fascinated by California’s reputation as the Sunshine State, with lots of beaches, swimming pools and movie stars. But the American foreclosure crisis is big news in Europe. Focus TV is producing a 20 to 40-minute documentary on the situation and Moser and Krienke traveled throughout California to tell the tale.

The pair stopped in Perris, she said, because the City is “doing something unique to address the home foreclosure situation.”

The Riverside Press-Enterprise newspaper sent a reporter and photographer to report about the widespread coverage generated by the program, which so far has turned the dry and brown lawns of 23 homes into lush, verdant-looking and
well-manicured front yards. Fourteen homes with treated
lawns have sold or are in escrow. The process cost the
City about $500,but that is recovered when the home is sold.

“This is a great program and it’s particularly good because it doesn’t cost us a cent in the long run,” said City Councilman Al Landers. “We did not start the home foreclosure situation but we are taking the lead to address it in a creative and forthright manner. I think that is why our efforts have garnered national and international recognition and praise.”

German Focus TV producer Kirsten Moser interviews LA reporter Gayle Anderson as part of her documentary on California’s home foreclosure situation and the creative way Perris is addressing it
German Focus TV producer Kirsten Moser interviews LA reporter Gayle Anderson as part of her documentary on California’s home foreclosure situation and the creative way Perris is addressing it.

The lawn greening program also has been reported on ABC News’ “Nightline,” Fox Business News Live, the Los Angeles Times, California Realtor Magazine and numerous radio stations, including one from German Public Radio.

A crew from National Geographic is planning to come to Perris to video a documentary about ways to save water during California’s ongoing drought. 

Landers spent much of the morning explaining the lawn rejuvenation to Anderson, who said Perris is to be commended for its efforts to breathe life back into distressed properties. He appeared on camera twice during the live broadcast.

Yarbrough escorted the German video crew around Perris, dropping by the world-famous Perris Valley Airport, taking them to Lake Perris and through some of the new housing tracts as well as the historic district.

Yarbrough said the world’s press is intrigued by Perris’ lawn rejuvenation program because it is innovative and is getting results.

“We’re all about thinking outside the box,” Yarbrough said. “We’re all about finding solutions to the challenges confronting us.”

German Film Crew in Perris ABC Nightline Clip
Fox News KTLA: Painting Lawns Green
 
KTLA: Painting Lawns Sells Homes