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Xeriscaping our School

2015 Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

Manothri Malikarachichi and Sadie Simpson from Montgomery School focused their project on implementing a xeriscaped landscape at their school as a pilot project to educate students and their community about the benefits of using drought-tolerant plant species in place of conventional water consumptive landscaping techniques.

Xeriscaping has many benefits and helps our local watersheds in a number of ways. By planting with native and drought tolerant plants you are reducing how much outdoor water is used in your home. These plants require much less water than conventional lawn and gardens. Some native and drought Student winner photo xeriscaping our school student action projecttolerant plants only require the intermittent rain that falls through Saskatoon’s summers!

Xeriscaping is also beautiful. It provides pops of colour and beauty rather than the monotonous green patches of conventional lawns. Once a xeriscaped landscape is installed and established, there is little work needed. There is no need for excess watering, the use of pesticides, fertilizers or gas for mowing! All of these inputs on our lawn and gardens impact our watershed because they can wash into our storm drains and into the river harming sensitive aquatic habitat. But, with a xeriscaped garden, this doesn’t happen because those inputs are not needed.

The students worked with their school to install a xeriscaped landscape in their outdoor classroom area. They are hoping to receive neighbourhood support for long term maintenance in partnership with the school.