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Empty lot becomes demonstration garden

water-efficient garden

From left, Blake Puckett, Debbie Rannfeldt, and Margot Grim visit the water-efficient garden at Woodmoor, made possible through community donations and volunteers.
Photo by Mina Hochberg/Woodinville Weekly.

demonstration garden by Mina Hochberg
When you have some free time this summer, take a trip to the Woodmoor Elementary water conservation demonstration garden for a picnic or a stroll amidst greenery.
   Two years ago, the site was a plot of dying grass whose primary use was that of a shortcut for local Northshore junior high students. Today, students and faculty lunch at a newly-added picnic table and stroll down a cement garden path.
   "This is being used a great deal," said Woodmoor principal Blake Puckett. "You see whole classes out here." Puckett described how one second grade class recently released a batch of butterflies into the garden.
   Designer for the project was Margot Grim, owner of Aureus Garden Design, who volunteered her time. "The best part of this project is the community aspect," said Grim. "It's fun to garden with other people."
   The entire garden was designed and constructed with donations. "We had a lot of help," Grim said.
   Individuals, businesses, nurseries, and parents donated plants and materials. Metro Signage provided a grant. A donor plaque will soon be added to the garden to recognize these people.
   Coordinator of the project was Debbie Rannfeldt, conservation coordinator for Woodinville Water District, a business partner with the school. Rannfeldt recognized the site as an opporturnity to educate the public on water conservation and at the same time create a pleasing landscape for the enjoyment of school and community.
   According to Rannfeldt, outdoor water use is Woodinville's biggest hurdle today in water conservation. Woodinville's water consumption quadruples during the summer, due to the burst of summer garden watering.
   The Woodmoor demonstration garden was an educational experience. Students became gardeners, helping out with digging, planting, weeding, and picking up rocks, and educating their parents about water conservation. Now it serves as an educational display for the entire community on how to design a pretty landscape without using much water.
   The garden, located at 12225 NE 160th in Bothell, will be open to visitors Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
   Several other local elementary schools have their own water-efficient gardens, as well. Any schools interested in this garden project can call Margot Grim at 485-7227 or Debbie Rannfeldt at 483-9104, extension 302, for resource information.