Demonstration Garden Under Way At College

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A long-planned low water-use demonstration garden is now a reality, thanks to a grant recently received from the Arizona Land Department and Community Tree Council.

The High Country Xeriscape Council of Arizona has been awarded an $8,000 Urban and Community Forestry Program, Community Challenge matching funds grant, which will be used to design and install a water conserving natural landscape in the main courtyard at Gila Community College's Rim country campus.

Work began on the project Jan. 4, and will continue throughout the winter and spring as materials, plants and volunteer labor become available.

Designed by members of the Xeriscape Council, the project focus is on realistic landscape design for the homeowner incorporating the use of native and other low water use plants; water harvesting techniques; fire-wise and fire retardant plantings; wildlife habitat and control; and educational seminars and workshops.

Creating a sense of natural space and beauty, and proper maintenance and care of appropriate plants for the region, the garden will be open and accessible to the public at all times.

Plant identification and information signage, walkways and benches, and an information kiosk will be incorporated in the garden. Informational brochures will be available at the kiosk and will offer interpretation of plant placement, water harvesting methods, and wildlife control.

The $8,063 grant award stipulates that the Xeriscape Council also is responsible for an expenditure of $8,063, which will be provided by volunteer gifts of labor and materials from local businesses, and cash outlay for incidentals.

For additional information, contact HCXCA information officer Micky Solcz at (928) 474-6723 or check out the website at www.xeriscapeaz.org.

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