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Xeriscape demonstration garden planted in Fort Macleod’s Centennial Park

Members of the Fort Macleod Environment Committee pitched in last week to develop a demonstration xeriscape garden in Centennial Park.

Members of the Fort Macleod Environment Committee pitched in last week to develop a demonstration xeriscape garden in Centennial Park.

Native plants that are drought-tolerant were planted.

Native plants that are drought-tolerant were planted.

RONDA REACH – GAZETTE CONTRIBUTOR
It’s been a hot dry summer here in Fort Macleod, something many of us are used to but this summer has been especially dry with only seven centimetres of rain since June 1 when last year we had 26 centimetres in the same period.
All of this brings to the forefront our need for better water saving methods.
Our household water use increases dramatically during the summer months when water is applied to lawns and gardens.
The good folks at our water treatment plant tell us that water through our municipal water system more than doubles during the summer months.
In an effort to promote water conservation the Fort Macleod Environment Committee has led the charge to add a xeriscape garden space to Centennial Park.
What does xeriscape mean? The term is used to describe a landscape that uses less water, 50 per cent less in fact than traditional landscapes where a lawn is the major focal point.
A xeriscape yard, however, does not mean having to give up the quality and beauty of your surrounding environment.
It uses native plants which are drought-tolerant as well as mulch to prevent erosion and moisture being evaporated from the ground when our hot dry winds blow.
Additionally, the mulch prevents weed growth meaning you can eliminate the need for chemical herbicides.
Jacob Holwerda designed the garden space and environment Committee members pitched in to plant the new garden space.
The Fort Macleod Environment Committee appreciates the support received from the Town of Fort Macleod as well for the local business donors and community donations made toward this beautiful new garden being realized.
Funding from the Alberta Cancer Prevention Legacy Fund provided the fruit trees as well the Oldman Watershed Council were contributing donors.
Stop by and take in a quiet moment to view the native plants, grasses, shrubs and trees. The garden is there to be enjoyed by all as well to inspire community members to transition their own yards to reduce the consumption of treated water during summer months.
The Fort Macleod Environment Committee is open to new members who are interested to build environmental awareness in our community.
If you are interested to join the committee please contact the Town Office at 403-553-4425.

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