We all Live Downstream!
This reality helped build Redmond's Water Conservation Demonstration Garden. This salmon-friendly, water conservation demonstration garden is just 20 feet south of the NE 85th St Bridge, on the Sammamish Trail just beyond the Opportunity Building. It is easily accessible to all path users.
Construction of the garden began in winter of 2007 and was complete at the end of 2008. It was built in conjunction with the Habitat Enhancement Project IV (HEP IV) on the Sammamish River and just across the path from it.
The garden was originally designed by Parametrix and built by BCI Construction. Funding for the garden came from the City of Redmond Water and Stormwater Utilities, with generous contributions from the Emerald Heights Community, Microsoft, and a grant from the King Conservation District.
The garden design roughly mimics a native northwest stream system, using plants, gravel pathways, mounded planting beds, large rocks, benches and signage. The plants themselves were selected to attract beneficial insects that salmon and birds like. The soil is amended to support native plants and vegetation that adapt easily. The garden should feel comfortable and welcoming - like an outdoor room - along a stream.
There are several types of irrigation used - all of which promote smart and efficient watering, where and when it's needed. The City has its own weather station which provides irrigation information to remote controllers, so they turn on and off according to the weather conditions. That's a lesson we could all learn - to be weather watchers in our own gardens.
Some interesting facts about the garden are the large flat rocks seen throughout the garden which are meant for seating. Use your nose to enjoy the many fragrant plants such as Lavender Cotton (Santolina chamaecyparissus), Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis "Huntington Carpet"), Common Sage (Salvia officinalis), and Catmint (Nepeta faassenii "Six Hills Giant"), among many others. A complete list of plants in Redmond's Water Conservation Demonstration Garden and their locations can be viewed here:
Please make yourself comfortable and enjoy the garden. It is constructed using Natural Yard Care methods, which can easily be used at home.