Cal Water’s Conservation Demonstration Garden in Chico boasts crushed-rock walkways and a wheelchair-accessible wooden bridge. The garden includes two stone benches in quiet, shady spots, where visitors enjoy more than 110 kinds of trees, shrubs, perennials, ground covers, ferns, and grasses. A large, colored reference and index map is on display, and brochures naming and locating the different beds and plants are available.
Designated beds have been specifically planted to attract butterflies and hummingbirds, and showcase Butte County-native plants, sun-loving perennials, shade-loving ferns, ground covers, and a variety of grasses.
The Conservation Garden, located in the heart of scenic Chico at the corner of East First and Sheridan avenues, is open daily to visitors.
Chico’s Conservation Garden began in 1993, when Cal Water was contacted by a group of local landscape architects with an idea for a drought-tolerant demonstration garden. They hoped that Cal Water could provide a visible location for it. Station 34 seemed like the ideal spot, as it is located at a busy intersection and a freeway entrance.
The initial garden was completed in 1993 and expanded in 1997. In 2009, Cal Water partnered with Lifescapes — a local landscaping maintenance company — to help renew the entire site with additional drought-tolerant plants and a more effective watering system. The garden is considered to be a “work in progress” and will be updated every year to give our customers conservation ideas they can implement at home.
The Drought-Tolerant Conservation Demonstration Garden is included in the Bureau of Reclamation’s California’s Water-Wise Gardens web site .
California Water Service
2222 Dr. Martin L King Jr. Pkwy.
Chico, CA 95928
Hours: Always open
Size: One-quarter acre
From Highway 99 north
Exit East First Avenue and turn left. The garden is a half-block down on the left at the southeast corner of East First and Sheridan avenues.
From Highway 99 south
Exit East First Avenue. Turn right, then make an immediately left at Sheridan. The garden is on the left at the southeast corner of East First and Sheridan avenues.