Water Wise Garden

Water Wise Landscape Demonstration Garden

Visit this new demonstration garden at Alton Baker Park that showcases strategies to reduce water use and capture and treat stormwater, while creating a beautiful landscape. It features a water-saving landscape design, native, edible and low water use plants, an efficient sprinkler system, a rain garden, a bioswale and a 3,000-gallon rainwater cistern. Some of these features are described below:

Right Plant, Right Place 

To minimize water demand and enhance plant health, plants were grouped based on their water needs. For instance, water loving plants such as flowering currants and vine maples are planted in and around the rain garden and bioswale.


Low Water Use Lawn Areas 

Lawns typically require a lot of water and maintenance. Alternatives to traditional lawn grass are planted at the garden.  A low water-use turf variety was planted in one area to give the look of a highly manicured lawn. Another area was sown with a blend of ecoturf - a mix of typical turf-type lawn grasses and low water use broadleaf plants like clover, yarrow and English daisies. 

Efficient Sprinkler System

The watering system is controlled by a Smart Controller that receives watering data via a wireless connection, adjusting daily to plant water needs. This system also uses underground drip tubing to water the manicured lawn and some of the planting beds.  

Rainwater Harvesting 

A 3,000 gallon cistern collects rainwater from the roof which is used to water a portion of the garden and overflows into the bioswale and rain garden. The cistern was designed and installed by students in Lane Community College’s Water Conservation Technician Program. 

Bioswale and Rain Garden 

The bioswale and rain garden help to collect, slow down and filter stormwater before it enters the Willamette River. 

Water Wise Garden Partners

The garden was the result of a remarkable community collaboration of these partners:


The garden is located in Alton Baker Park next to Nearby Nature’s Park Host Residence and the community garden. The address is 622 Day Island Road, Eugene, OR 97401.

For more information, contact:

  • Jeffrey Petersen, EWEB Water Planning Services, 541-685-7441
  • Kathy Eva, City of Eugene Public Information Specialist, 541-682-2739