Near the back entrance of Central Park Library (2635 Homestead Road, between San Tomas Expy. and Kiely Blvd.) is the City’s new Demonstration Garden. Adorning the space are Japanese maple trees and a bird bath. Also planted here are drought tolerant plants including the Davis milkweed, which attracts monarch butterflies, and the pink flowering currant, which draws bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. The ribbon cutting took place on June 21, just in time for summer solstice.
City Manager Rajeev Batra acknowledged special attendees, including City Councilmembers Debi Davis and Kathy Watanabe, Deputy Director of Public Works Dave Staub, City Librarian Hilary Keith, and Director of Parks & Recreation James Teixeira.
“The City of Santa Clara, our Public Works Department, our Parks and Recreation Department and the City are very excited to present the first public Demonstration Garden in Santa Clara that showcases California native plants, drought tolerant plants and sustainable gardening practices such as mulching and composting,” said Mayor Lisa Gillmor. “The City’s first ever Demonstration Garden was planted by our dedicated City staff and our volunteers at the planting day, which was June 11. So it’s very brand new. The components of this garden work together to create a resilient wildlife habitat [that] use our resources efficiently.”
Gillmor explained that it’s imperative to have pollinator-friendly California native plants in order to attract pollinators (e.g. bees, butterflies and birds) that help support biological diversity and natural ecosystems. She added that the City of Santa Clara has a continued commitment to sustainability by incorporating practices for water conservation, greenhouse gas reduction, energy conservation and storm water runoff (rain water that remains on a ground surface) pollution prevention.
“I’m excited to share with you that this garden has been certified as a New Wildlife Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation by providing essential elements needed by pollinators, which is food, water, cover and places to raise young,” Gillmor said.
The garden is still a work in progress. According to Gillmor, the garden will serve as an educational tool to create awareness through library programming, events such as composting workshops, as well as planting opportunities for young children.
“The City will reach out to Santa Clara Unified School District schools to let them know about opporutnities for children to come here ,” said Lina Prada-Báez, staff aide II for the City of Santa Clara’s environmental programs. Baez estimated that the new Demonstration Garden, which she played an integral part in planning, stretches out to approximately 1,500 square feet.