As the developer of the master-planned community of Summerlin®, The Howard Hughes Corporation® has long recognized its obligation as a steward of the land. In Summerlin, the company’s dedication to preserving the environment has been demonstrated in many ways over the years, starting with two land exchanges in which Hughes pulled Summerlin’s boundary eastward, adding 6,400 acres to the National Conservation Area and creating a permanent boundary that will forever protect Red Rock Canyon and preserve its pristine character.
Beyond those transformative exchanges, Summerlin was one of the valley’s earliest adopters of desert landscaping, helping to improve the public image of low water-use landscapes decades ago and encouraging other developers and builders to do the same. In fact, Summerlin was the valley’s first community to implement strict Water Smart conservation guidelines that limited turf to backyard play areas only, and the community continues to use and promote desert friendly plant materials whenever and wherever possible.
Today, Summerlin is reaffirming its commitment to water conservation with a few key projects that are removing turf from areas where it does not serve a functional purpose, including the Summerlin Parkway and several neighborhood entrances in The Paseos village.
Along the Parkway, nearly 80,000 square feet of turf originally planted in 1990 when there was no drought, have been recently removed and are being replaced with low water-use landscaping, resulting in annual water savings of more than five million gallons annually.
Likewise, approximately 32,000 square feet of turf is being removed from neighborhood entrances in The Paseos village, resulting in significant water savings. And in Summerlin South, “water smart” irrigation controllers that automatically adjust watering schedules and volumes based on current weather conditions, will help to save 38 million gallons of water annually. All this is in addition to other turf removal projects that have included major roundabouts and landscaping surrounding office parks throughout the community.
According to Tom Warden, Senior Vice President, Community and Government Relations for Summerlin, who has also long served on Southern Nevada Water Authority’s Water Conservation Coalition, environmental stewardship has always been a guiding tenet for The Howard Hughes Corporation.
Warden says that the Summerlin Council, which functions much like a municipal parks and recreation department but on a community level, oversees the 250-plus parks of all sizes throughout Summerlin, a community that spans 22,500 acres and is the largest master plan in Nevada. “The Summerlin Council is working hard to identify other areas where turf can be removed from non-functional areas while still protecting parks and other play areas that create the community’s exceptional quality of life.”
“We are increasingly using native landscaping materials that require zero water once established, as well as blended landscapes that use native plants combined with desert trees that use very little water,” Warden said. “The Howard Hughes Corporation, along with Discovery Land Company, our joint venture partner on The Summit, have invested millions of dollars in this next-level sustainable landscaping. We are proud of the fact that much of the street-side landscaping and common area landscaping in our community has long been low water use.”
In addition to removing turf in areas where it serves no purpose other than decoration, Summerlin is now harvesting many of the native desert plants in areas under development and replanting them in new ‘blended’ or ‘re-vegged’ landscapes. So far millions of dollars have been spent on these landscapes, saving significant amounts of irrigation water. Areas of the community where revegetation has occurred or is planned include the villages or districts of The Paseos, The Ridges, The Cliffs, Stonebridge, The Summit, The Mesa, Summerlin Centre, Redpoint and Redpoint Square.
Now entering its 31st year of development, Summerlin delivers more amenities than any other community in Southern Nevada. This includes more than 250 parks of all sizes; resident-exclusive community centers, pools and events; 150-plus miles of interconnected trails; ten golf courses; 26 public, private and charter schools; a public library and performing arts center; Summerlin Hospital Medical Center; houses of worship representing a dozen different faiths; office parks; neighborhood shopping centers; and, of course, Downtown Summerlin®, offering fashion, dining, entertainment, Red Rock Resort, office towers, City National Arena, home of the Vegas Golden Knights National Hockey League practice facility, and Las Vegas Ballpark®, a world-class Triple-A baseball stadium and home of the Las Vegas Aviators®.
In total, Summerlin currently offers more than 140 floor plans in nearly 30 neighborhoods throughout nine distinct villages and districts. Homes are available in a variety of styles – from single-family homes to townhomes, priced from the low $300,000s to more than $1 million.