Conservation Gardens

The Conservation Gardens at Northern Water contain more than 700 plants and 60 turf grasses that thrive in Colorado’s semiarid climate and use less water.

The gardens are located behind the Northern Water headquarters building in Berthoud, CO. The gardens and the adjoining Colorado-Big Thompson Project Interpretive Area are free and open to the public every day of the year during daylight hours.

ATTENTION: Northern Water is revamping its Conservation Gardens, and we want to hear from you!
Northern Water is offering water providers, contractors, homeowners associations, the general public and anyone else within its service area the opportunity to propose water efficiency demonstration projects in the Conservation Gardens. The results of these collaborative efforts could have broad water-savings impacts in your community. To be considered, let us know about your idea by July 16, 2018. You can learn more and submit your idea using this Conservation Gardens Renovation fact sheet and application

New Signs, Web Documents
In 2015, Northern Water began installing new signs in the Conservation Gardens. The signs contain garden descriptions that are linked to more detailed Web documents about water conservation and the Conservation Gardens. Viewers can also access these documents by scanning the QR codes on the signs with a smart phone.

Xeriscape Desmonstration Gardens
The Weather Station bedding plants area (foreground) and the Xeriscape Demonstration Gardens at the Conservation Gardens at Northern Water

Conservation Information for Homeowners, Landscapers Each area of the gardens is labeled to give homeowners, gardeners and landscaping professionals information on using various grasses and plants that use less water in their landscapes.

The gardens have five separate grass areas with different types of native and turf grasses, an automated weather station and soil and irrigation technology demonstration areas.

“Colorado-friendly” Landscapes
The Xeriscape plaza has eight “Colorado-friendly” and water-wise landscapes, including a native plant display, yucca and prairie landscape gardens. For detailed information about xeriscaping and Northern Water’s Xeriscape Demonstration Gardens, see the Xeriscape Irrigation Recommendations. The Conservation Gardens Xeriscape Plant List identifies the species of plants in the gardens. C-BT Interpretive Area
The Colorado-Big Thompson Interpretive Area, just east of the Conservation Gardens, is a working model of the C-BT Project. It includes 12 reservoirs and the 13.1-mile Alva B. Adams Tunnel. 

To see how to apply Conservation Gardens water-saving techniques in your own landscape, go the Home & Garden Conservation page.

Garden Plants & Photos Go to the Plants & Photos page to see dozens of Conservation Gardens photos and plant information.
link to Photo Gallery

Garden map

Native GrassesIrrigation Technology DemonstrationSmall Grass LysimetersComparative Irrigation TechniquesSoil Preparation StudyLine Source IrrigationBluegrass ReviewWeather Station AreaAlternative Grass MixesTall Fescue ReviewSoil Preparation StudyXeriscape Demonstration GardensSoil Revitalization DemonstrationSprinkler System Test Pad