(From left) Kristy Pelletier

(From left) Kristy Pelletier

Xeriscaping on display at Creston college campus

Web Lead

  • Aug. 8, 2011 2:00 p.m.

New landscaping on the College of the Rockies (COTR) ground is about much more than esthetics. It’s a visible culmination of the college’s foray into xeriscaping, the environmental design of residential and park land using various methods for minimizing the need for water use.

Greenhouse program staff and volunteers have been busy in the last few weeks creating a new look for the 16th Avenue frontage of the community college.

“We have learned a lot about xeriscape in the last few years and there is tremendous interest among local residents,” said greenhouse program co-ordinator Anita Sawyer. “Holly Pender-Love facilitated xeriscape/water-wise workshops and many of those who attended have gone on to use that knowledge on their own properties. We want to show the public that water-conscious landscaping can be beautiful and practical at the same time.”

The new garden, which includes a locally built bridge over a “waterless river”, was designed by COTR staff member Carmen Rockwell-Hoover. Funds for the project were provided by Columbia Basin Trust, with additional contributions from the Town of Creston, Regional District of Central Kootenay areas A, B and C, Shell Canada and COTR.

“A total of 24 volunteers helped with the project, so I don’t think we can name them all,” Saywer said. “But I would like to express our appreciation to them, as well as to the many others who help with our many greenhouse programs.”

In the future, she said the area to the front of the college building should be completely transformed.

“As funds become available in the future we will eventually renovate the remainder of the front lawn, including a student gazebo,” she said. “It’s a great joy in being able to enhance the appearance of the college grounds by using environmentally responsible gardening techniques and giving our volunteers hands-on experience, too.”

The College of the Rockies greenhouse programs have involved hundreds of participants in recent years and public interest continues to grow. For more information about courses and volunteer opportunities, call 250-428-5332.