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Posts tagged ‘salt lake city department of public utilities’

Have you seen the new Washington Square Garden?

Salt Lake City’s 18-year old conservation demonstration garden continues to thrive with a new site plan and plants

The Washington Square Water Wise Garden with City and County Building in background.
The Washington Square Water-Wise Garden

This spring, the Salt Lake City Parks Division planted a new garden in Washington Square on the east side of the City-County Building on 200 East between 400 and 500 South.

The bright flowers, colorful foliage, and sweet smells have greeted visitors all summer as they enter the Capital City’s flagship municipal building.

As we wind down the summer season, we thought it’d be fun to highlight the new garden—and take a walk down memory lane to celebrate the original creation of this special space back in 2001.

The First Conservation Garden

It was just before the 2002 Olympics brought the world to Salt Lake City, and this signature outdoor space was re-constructed to demonstrate the City’s commitment to sustainability. At that time, it was one of the first examples in Salt Lake City showcasing how beautiful a low-water garden can be.

At the end of the last century (20th that is), the area to the east of the City-County Building was a mixture of grass, annuals, and asphalt– which, as you can imagine, was more parking-centric and the grass was thirsty.

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City Urges Water Conservation, But Predicts No Local Shortages in Year Ahead

Photo Credit: Arbyreed via Flickr.

Little Cottonwood Canyon. Photo Credit: Arbyreed via Flickr.

With the warmer than normal temperatures at the beginning of 2015 and current snowpack levels below average, Mayor Ralph Becker and the Salt Lake City Department of Public Utilities remind residents to use water efficiently.  While snow levels are below average, Salt Lake City Department of Public Utilities does not anticipate a local water shortage this year.

This is the result of the proactive water resource stewardship approach Salt Lake City has taken, which includes investing in infrastructure to provide water storage and actively monitoring and managing water resources. The Salt Lake community’s pattern of improved water conservation is also a significant factor.

“We are always closely monitoring our water supplies,” said Jeff Niermeyer, Director of Salt Lake City’s Department of Public Utilities. “Salt Lake City’s infrastructure investments and forethought in planning, and our community’s continued water conservation efforts, should ensure an adequate supply of water for this year.”

Regardless of the current City water supply, weather variability can make predicting next year’s snowpack and precipitation difficult. There is never have enough water to waste, and therefore it is important that residents and business owners always use water wisely. Public Utilities will be posting periodic updates on local snowpack levels and the water supply outlook on its website at www.slcgov.com/utilities and at www.facebook.com/slcpu.

Even though recent record breaking warm temperatures made it feel like spring, the winter season is still upon us and the City does not recommend turning on lawn sprinklers. However, now is a good time to start planning for water efficient gardens.

Salt Lake City Department of Public Utilities is pleased to announce a free online tool to help you achieve an enjoyable and water efficient garden. SLC Gardenwise is a new, interactive water-wise landscape website.

“SLC Gardenwise is an interactive website that includes virtual garden tours, an extensive plant database, watering how-to’s and other resources,” said Stephanie Duer, Water Conservation Manager for Salt Lake City Department of Public Utilities.

Designed to provide information and inspiration for either the home gardener or landscape professional, the site provides a virtual tour of beautiful, water-wise landscapes, as well as technical information on site design, pest management, landscape maintenance and, of course, watering practices. Visit www.slcgardenwise for more information.