A small community garden in northwest Harris County has big ideas for conserving water.
Every drop of water is valuable at the Cypresswood Water Conservation Garden. Those tending the garden have managed to help it thrive on less. Everything in the garden, from the plants and trees to insects and birds is supported by rain and water collected on site. It's now the only sustainable water garden in all of Houston.
"To be sustainable, we made the commitment that once the plants were established we would use only rainwater," said Carol Fraser, garden manager.
They collect rainwater in a storage container. Next to it they collect condensate from the air conditioner piped to the outside.
"It'll cost you money to hire a plumber, but since water is becoming more of a feature in everyone's budget it'll be worth more to you than it was at one point. In some cases you can collect five to 20 gallons of water a day from your air conditioner."
The water board created the garden as a living example for homeowners. It grew out of concern over the future supply and rising rates.
"Our hope is to change people's attitudes toward how they use their sprinkler system and water their lawn," said Gary Toll, President of Water Board #132.
Along the winding path visitors see butterflies, birds and caterpillars. They learn the first change to make with their own yard is with the soil.
"You have to have good quality soil or it can't hold the water," said Fraser.
Next plant native plants. Thirdly, the crew at the garden top dresses the garden beds with compost, a well balanced diet that eliminates the need for chemicals.
For more information visit cwcgtx.com