This project received a 2005 Honor award from the Colorado Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects. The City of Aurora is using these gardens to teach the community about water-wise landscape technologies within a beautiful setting at the new Aurora Municipal Center. BHA prepared the landscape design for both the Xeriscape Gardens and the new Municipal Center campus.
Conceived during the drought of 2002, which took a serious toll on the water supply of the residents of the City of Aurora, BHA designed a seven-acre Demonstration Garden located adjacent to the new municipal center.
The purpose of the garden is to educate the residents of Aurora in the proper techniques of installing an energy- and water-efficient landscape. Whimsical twig benches provide resting places, while twig signs explain the seven principles of xeriscape. Etched boulders identify the different gardens. Many of the gardens are based on xeriscape garden designs produced in pamphlets by Denver Water and the City of Aurora. These gardens address issues of layout, topography, sun exposure, year-round effect, installation cost and maintenance. Residents are encouraged to wander the gardens with the pamphlets, generating ideas. They can then take the pamphlets home for use in xeric plantings in their own yards.