In 2005, the Waterwise Demonstration Gardens were installed alongside the Interpretive Center replacing the unsightly weed patch that existed there. The plan for the 5 gardens was created by landscape architect, Guy Stivers, and funding for the construction of pathways, water and electrical installation and plantings was provided by a grant from the Metropolitan Water District. Many of the plants found in native habitat were used to illustrate what a home garden can do to attract wildlife. The gardens are ADA Accessible.
The Butterfly Garden is planted with Buckwheat, Ceanothus, Milkweed, Encelia and Coyote Mint to attract butterflies such as Monarchs, Gulf Fritillaries, Mourning Cloaks, Skippers, Swallowtails and many more.
The Hummingbird Garden, planted with Hummingbird Sage, Heuchera, Fuchsia, Bladderpod, provides nectar to attract Anna’s and Allen’s Hummingbirds and plenty of photographers camping out there waiting for the perfect subject.
In the Riparian Garden, a rainwater harvesting system was installed in 2009 as a generous gift by Aquascape Inc. The recirculating stream provides a water environment for birds, animals and dragonflies. Moisture loving plants, native grasses, Irises, and shrubs surround the stream where Red-tailed Hawks, Hummingbirds, Cedar Waxwings and dragonflies come to bathe.
The Waterwise Garden illustrates drought tolerant plants suitable for a home garden. Manzanita, Ceanothus, Blue-eyed Grass, Mountain Marigold, Salvia and Coffeeberry attract butterflies, bees and Hummingbirds.
The Color Garden is bursting with color attracting bees and butterflies all year long. The Lilac Verbena, Electric Blue, White, and Royal Purple Sages, Apricot Mallow and Sun Drops provide the shades of a rainbow.
Butterflies photographed at the nature center:
Wild Indigo Dusky wing
Western Tiger Swallowtail
Western Pygmy Blue
Monarch (hind wing)