A Conversation with the Conservation Garden Park
Posted By Salt Lake County ZAP
June 22, 2017
The Conservation Garden Park is your resource to help you “localize” your landscape to work in harmony with Utah’s challenging climate. The 6-acre botanical garden is located at the center of the Salt Lake Valley at 8275 South 1300 West in West Jordan and is a convenient stop for any county resident wishing to enjoy the beauty of Utah in an artful environment.
While the Garden may be a “living museum” of Utah-happy plants, it’s different than other public gardens in that the plants and techniques shown here are intended to reach into your own landscape. During your visit, you’ll learn about design, irrigation, planting and maintenance for your own yard. If you want more assistance, you can access a wide range of classes, tours, and activities, as well as ask questions of our horticulture and landscape experts.
The Conservation Garden Park demonstrates how the arts can have a very real impact on important societal issues. Utah’s population is expected to double by 2060 but the water supply won’t. Data from Utah Division of Water Resources indicates that unless progress is made in water conservation and new sources are developed, Utah will not have enough water to meet expected future demands. Water conservation is a vital first step to ensure that Utah’s water supply will be able to support our own children and grandchildren.
Utahns agree that conservation matters. A recent study by Envision Utah (http://www.envisionutah.org/projects/your-utah-your-future) found that 85% of the more than 50,000 Utahns surveyed believe water conservation is a vital issue affecting the future of the State and we should reduce our use. However, putting that belief into action is a little more difficult—and that’s where the Conservation Garden Park fits in. Utahns have reduced their average use from the baseline year of 2000 but there is more work to be done if we are to achieve the state’s goal of 25 percent reduction in per capita use by 2025.
A frequent question our staff receives from visitors is “Can you tell me where the waterwise plants are?” Most visitors are surprised to learn that a water-efficient landscape can also be lush and vibrant (not cactus, lava rock and cattle skulls). Visitors can enjoy a self-guided tour of the Garden and enjoy the various landscape education exhibits, some of which were made possible by the ZAP program.
As there is no charge for admission to the Garden, it’s a great place to bring the family either as part of the ZAP Summer Passport program. You can take this as a self-guided tour or check out one of our activity backpacks from the main desk to keep kids engaged during the visit.
Hours of operation for the Garden change seasonally but we will remain open from 8 am to 8 pm, Monday-Saturday until September. Check the Garden’s website for more information.
The Conservation Garden Park offers more than 50 landscape classes per season in our state-of-the-art education center. Classes are taught by our own expert staff and staff from Utah State University Extension. Each class addresses specific challenges homeowners experience when trying to create and maintain a beautiful landscape within the extremes of our climate.
The Conservation Garden Park website offers free resources, such as a plant database of more than 1,000 plants. These plants have all been tested for Utah-friendliness in the Conservation Garden Park. We also offer free design plans that you can adapt to your own lot, as well as information on how to make the switch from a generic “blandscape” to a vibrant, beautiful Localscape. Learn more about Localscaping for any part of Utah on the Localscapes website: http://localscapes.com.
Our most popular annual event is coming up on Saturday, August 19. “Party in the Park” is a mix of fun, education and awe. The highlight of the event is the release of 500 butterflies over two different release times. The event is free and we encourage families to come and introduce their children to the wonders of nature in an exciting atmosphere.
In addition to the butterfly release, USU Extension volunteers will have activity booths to teach children about urban pollinators and a butterfly scavenger hunt. Enjoy games to learn about water conservation and treatment, watch live animal shows, and even tour a water treatment facility to learn how water works in Utah.
Party in the Park
- Saturday, August 19, 2017
- 4 pm- 7pm
- 8275 South 1300 West
- West Jordan, Utah
Admission to the event is free. Food is available for purchase from several food trucks. Follow Conservation Garden Park on Facebook for updates (http://facebook.com/conservationgardenpark) or watch our website for more information. http://conservationgardenpark.org.
ZAP has made many of the exhibits and possibility of the Garden Park a reality. If you haven’t visited the Garden, we think you’ll like what you’ll find here. If you’re just interested in a stroll in a park-like setting or looking for great, Utah-friendly landscaping ideas, you’ll find it all at Conservation Garden Park.
Cynthia works to translate the technical nature of water conservation into public-friendly messaging as the Outreach Coordinator for the Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Landscape Architecture from Utah State University and over the past 20 years she’s been involved at every scale of land design and planning from large regional projects to residential landscape design.