By Linda Townes, Conservation Garden Park
This is a great time of year for reflecting on our blessings, and to think about our future and goals. As a Garden, we like to do that too! Our blessings of this year have been many, but the greatest is our visitors and supporters. The Garden has been around for more than 15 years now, and it’s fun to feel more mature and grown-up. Some of you, dear readers, have been with us from the beginning, and some of you have only recently discovered Utah’s best kept landscaping secret. It’s with the utmost sincerity that we thank you for your continued support. Without you, the Garden would never have become what it is today.
The Garden’s near future includes the design and building of a new “Localscapes” exhibit. If you haven’t heard of Localscapes yet, it’s a movement to change the way we landscape in Utah, and Conservation Garden Park is at the forefront. By simplifying landscaping methods and using plants appropriate for our climate, even a quarter-acre lot can save more than 130,000 gallons of water every year. But conserving water is only a small part of why Localscaping is better here. Other benefits include simplified irrigation, better curb appeal, increased functionality, and lower maintenance of your yard. We also want lawn to stay a part of the landscaping equation. Lawn is not the enemy, it just needs to be designed and used differently. Localscapes remain lush and beautiful, not rocks and cacti we all envision when think of “zeroscapes.”
If you’re interested in “localizing” your own landscape, visit Localscapes.com, and watch for classes in the spring. Designed for Utah and to be implemented by do-it-yourselfers, Localscapes will change the way we landscape in Utah.
Goals for the Garden
The Garden is constantly working on improving its message and educating the public about water conservation in our communities. Localscapes is the biggest way we’re improving our messaging and reaching the public with better ways to save water. This year we’re also focusing on improving the classes we teach to include the Localscapes methodology. If you aren’t ready for a complete overhaul of your yard, take it in pieces—another benefit of localizing.
Another goal we’re working on is to update the Neighborhood (our “street” of example water-efficient landscapes). Not only will the redesign fit the Localscapes methodology, but all landscapes need a “facelift” when they reach a certain age. Many of you may be in that phase of landscape maturity. We’re all about practicing what we preach, and localizing our example landscapes are helping us better teach you the best way to do it yourself.
How You Can Help
The Garden is made possible by Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District, ZAP, and individual donations made by lovers of the Garden. We have carefully cultivated our relationships with foundations, businesses, and visitors over the years, and even though the Garden is free to visit, its maintenance is not free. If you’re inclined to give a tax-deductible gift to support the Garden, visit conservationgardenpark.org/donate. Any amount is appreciated. With your continued support, we can take the Garden well into the future of water-efficient landscaping in Utah!