2018 Conservation Garden Park Preview

By: Shaun Moser, Garden Park Preview

As you may have read in last week’s article, 2017 was a great year for the Conservation Garden Park, with lots of changes and improvements to help serve you better. In 2018, we’ll be taking all we learned in 2017, and literally building upon it.

Garden Expansion.  Plans to expand the Garden with several new exhibits are well underway. The highlight for 2018 is the new Localscapes® exhibit, which will enable visitors to immerse themselves in a real Localscape. Several other exhibits featuring park strip ideas, a pollinator garden and more are planned around the Localscapes exhibit and will be built as funds allow. To that end, our team has been diligently fundraising to support this effort and, thanks to generous donations from local organizations, we’ve raised about half of the funds needed to complete the Localscapes exhibit.

Classes. In this coming year we will be offering 50 classes at our education center on a range of different topics including vegetable gardening, pruning, fruit trees, park strips and our flagship program, Localscapes®. The Localscapes class series will walk you through the process of designing, installing and maintaining a landscape that works well here in Utah.  The class schedule is now available on our website and enrollment for each class opens thirty days before the class date.  We’ll also be releasing online versions of some of our most popular classes in 2018.

Switching out park strips from lawn to water-efficient plants and irrigation was one of the hottest home trends in Utah in 2017.  As we expect this trend to increase in popularity this season, we’ll be offering a park strip conversion class monthly starting in February, to help you “flip your strip.” Some cities are even providing incentives to make it easier for homeowners to complete this transition.

Featured Events. We will be hosting two major events this coming year. The first will be the Urban Homestead Expo, held in partnership with Utah State University Extension, on April 21, 2018.  The Expo will focus on ways to more effectively utilize your landscape to produce, or conserve, resources your family needs.  The second event will be our 7th annual Party in the Park on Saturday, August 18th, featuring the release of hundreds of butterflies. This is a great opportunity to come see what the garden has to offer if you have never been here before.  Best of all?  The event is free to the public.

Whether you are a repeat visitor to the garden or you’ve always meant to stop in but just didn’t find the time, we have plenty of new reasons to get to know the Garden in 2018.  We’re here as a resource for you. So, visit the garden for inspiration, take classes, join us for an event or simply check out the free resources on our website, http://conservationgardenpark.org.  We’re thankful for all your support over the years as well as your efforts to make Utah a more sustainable and water efficient state. We hope to see you at the garden in 2018!