Commissioner Dickey Transforms a Narrow Strip of Parking Lot Into a Master Gardener “Water–Wise” Center for Landscape and Water Conservation
The Dallas County Master Gardeners, Texas AgriLife Extension Service-Dallas County, in cooperation with County Commissioner Maurine Dickey transformed a narrow strip of parking lot located at Commissioner Dickey’s District office, into an outstanding demonstration garden that illustrates the WaterWise/Earth-KindTM principles for landscape water conservation.
The mission of the Dallas County Master Gardeners is "to educate the public". Materials from the gardens are used to work closely with children from several local schools, and teachers in Dallas public and private schools are learning how to bring the benefits of garden-based teaching into their classroom by attending a “How to Start a Garden” class.
The Master Gardeners have helped install school gardens at Lida Hoop Elementary School in Dallas and provided curriculum assistance to PreK-5th grade reaching a total of 492 students. They also partnered with Ted Polk Middle School in Carrollton to begin a WaterWise Garden. One of the Master Gardeners recently commented, “It is very rewarding to see how the students enjoy learning at the Demonstration Garden.”
In urban areas of Texas, about 25 percent of the water supply is used for landscape and garden watering. Much of this water is used to maintain traditionally high water-demanding landscapes, or it is simply applied inefficiently. In an attempt to reduce the excessive water use, the garden at Commissioner Dickey’s district office demonstrates how WaterWise/Earth-Kind™ landscaping can help preserve and protect our most valuable natural resource - water. Since the garden began in October of 2005, the Dallas County Master Gardener program has provided design, installation, and maintenance with Skinner Nursery providing the plants at reduced cost.
The trees, shrubs, and perennials selected are drought resistant and rarely need fertilizers or pesticides. This garden flourishes because landscape decisions were based on respect for the environment and water, the latest scientifically sound research based information, and employing WaterWise/Earth-Kind™ techniques of plant selection and culture.
The use of WaterWise/Earth-Kind™ landscaping principles and practices has allowed the Master Gardeners and Commissioner Dickey to create a beautiful, easy-care landscape, while conserving and protecting natural resources and the environment. The garden adds richness and beauty to Commissioner Dickey’s district office and serves as an excellent community educational resource.