By: Shaun Moser
Conservation Garden Park is in the middle of another successful year. We continue to have outstanding attendance at our Localscapes and “Creating Waterwise Park Strips” classes. We have seen and heard from many of you as you install and complete your projects, and you are becoming ambassadors for Localscapes! Your hard work inspires your friends and neighbors to make changes to their landscapes. We are excited to announce a Garden expansion that will expose more people to our programs.
Our next big phase will include both a Localscapes and park strips exhibit, which will be the highlight of the expansion and used to teach Localscape classes in the future. It is designed to replicate a quarter-acre landscape, so you can see how Localscape principles are applied to a real yard. This will also allow us to make our future classes more demonstration and hands-on oriented. For example, when we talk about a maintenance practice we will be able to demonstrate it in the exhibit in an actual landscape.
One of the highlights of the new exhibit will be the pavilion in the center that is designed to replicate a house. This pavilion will have an outdoor, covered teaching area in the Garden. When it is not being used as an outdoor classroom, Garden visitors will be able to learn about the concepts without having to attend a formal class.
Another exciting component to the expansion is the park strips exhibit. Park strips that have lawn in them are one of the biggest wasters of water in our landscapes. Removing lawn from this area can save 5,000-8,000 gallons of water every year. This exhibit will show visitors many different planting designs that they can use in their own landscapes to save water and increase curb appeal.
We have also made some changes to the older part of the Garden to reflect what we have learned in the last 20 years of teaching water conservation. Some of the biggest changes have occurred in “The Neighborhood.” As our principles have been clarified and the plants in the Garden have matured, we have modified areas of lawn and added more gathering areas and pathway examples.
Construction is beginning this month to add the Localscape and park strip exhibits north of the existing garden. This will add just over one acre to the Garden, increasing the total size to just under eight acres. This project is slated to open in summer/fall of 2019, almost 20 years after the opening of the original Garden.
Whether you are a repeat visitor or have never heard of us before, we have plenty to offer to teach you all about water-efficient landscaping. We are so excited to share these changes with you! Thank you from our staff for all your support over the years and your efforts to make Utah a more sustainable and water-efficient state. We hope to see you at the Garden soon!