Demonstration Garden Showcases Five Water-Efficient Techniques
The City of Hillsboro Water and Parks & Recreation departments have teamed up to create a Water-Efficient Demonstration Garden at Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve. The project kicked off in 2014 and was completed in April 2018. Updates and additions will continue to enhance the garden in the future.
The goal of this public garden was to inspire and educate visitors about alternatives to traditional water-thirsty landscape planting, while creating a space that benefits and attracts wildlife. Plantings include a variety of native species and adapted plants from similar environments, showcasing drought resistant choices for both sun and shade.
The seven steps for creating and maintaining water efficient landscapes was also incorporated into the garden. From planning and design, to minimizing water demand, grouping plants together based on their watering needs, adding compost to the soil, creating a functional lawn area, using mulch to help absorb and store water and keeping up with maintenance in the garden.
An efficient irrigation system is used to reduce or eliminate evaporation, over-watering, and runoff. The Demonstration Garden also utilizes the following techniques to maintain water efficiencies:
- Drip irrigation
- Rain and runoff capture systems (rain garden)
- Permeable surfaces
- Drought-tolerant and native plant landscaping
Parks Maintenance crews have played a major role in designing and installing key site features, including a rain garden which directs roof runoff from the Wetlands Education Center through the garden and under two foot bridges constructed entirely with salvaged materials. Bird houses, feeding stations, and two water efficient features for wildlife have already been incorporated into the space.
The garden is open for visitation year round. Seasonal changes to the garden highlight the beauty that can be created while conserving water. The waterwise garden is located in front of the Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve at 2600 SW Hillsboro Highway, Hillsboro, Oregon 97123.