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04-26-22 | News

Donated Artful Park

The Discovery Garden aims to address fundamental conservation issues within a high desert environment
by Steve Shea, Steve Shea Landscape Design

Volunteers made the Mesa County Central Library Discovery Garden in Grand Junction, Colorado possible. This steel sign was donated by a local metal welding company.
The raised flower beds feature art from local children, compost bins, a vegetable plot where produce is grown, a xeric flower bed, and pollinator-attracting beds that are planted with native species and drought-resistant plants.

In 2018, Robert Breeden, President of Nvision Design Studio, Inc. volunteered his expertise to create the Mesa County Central Library Discovery Garden. Located in downtown Grand Junction, Colorado, the Discovery Garden is a project that aims to address fundamental conservation issues within a high desert environment.
Breeden helped transform a vacant lot into a garden that has promoted outreach to the community, educational opportunities, and permaculture-based garden practices.

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In 2018, grants that supported the garden were given by the Mesa Conservation District and the Friends of the Library. Grants were given by AARP, local non-profits, banks, Rotary and Kiwanis clubs, and in 2021, was chosen by Lowe's as one of the 100 Communities they supported.
The garden has evolved over the past four years and now includes a children's area with a Bookworm raised bed planted by children. Additions included compost bins, a vegetable plot, a xeric flower bed, and pollinator-attracting beds that are planted with native species and drought-resistant plants. In 2020, irrigation was upgraded with a solar-powered system that can be controlled over Wi-Fi. Five micro basins were also installed along the streets abutting the garden. The basins are planted with trees, shrubs, and herbs to demonstrate how to control runoff following storms through infiltration back into the groundwater.
Following COVID-19 restrictions, a small group of volunteers kept the garden alive by planting a hoop house and an annual vegetable plot. In 2021, the garden was expanded to include a wilderness area with trees and shrubs for shade and to create a sound barrier along the busy street at the western edge of the garden. The children's area includes custom benches named "Iris" and "Horace" that were created by a local artist. The programs have educated young people and adults on garden-related topics such as HA 1/4 gelkultur techniques, raised beds, soil health, heritage vegetables, water conservation, composting, cover-cropping, pollinators, solar energy, and growing in a hoop house.
Learn more at:

mesacd.com/discovery-garden-partnership
mesacountylibraries.org/garden

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