In designing the gardens the following factors have been a major concern:
- We have a city block and are going to create a natural landscape representing a ridge line along the Colorado River. Elevations in places will be 8 ft. above street level. The engineering involved and the sheer amount of soil and rock that will be brought in is huge.
- The placement of the rocks and boulders has to be geologically correct as the Gardens will be an educational learning facility.
- The soils have to be correct. Native plants, grasses, forbs each have a unique environment. Certain plants grow in certain soil types and we intend to be as botanically correct as possible. We will have school children, tourists, members of the community and scholars studying the gardens.
- Our water feature (the Colorado River representation) has to be totally natural looking while at the same time purified and safe for children to dip their hands in. The water has to sustain plant growth yet be filtered. It has to be shallow so water will be constantly re-circulated and needs to be moving.
- We will harvest rain water and the water will be stored under the “ridge line” in a 40,000 gallon tank. This water will be pumped to the ‘river’ and will be used in irrigation of the gardens.
- The native plants, grasses, forbs, and trees all have to be self-sustaining – in a natural biological environment.
- The exhibits will appear as ‘real’ as possible
Details of the design :
- On leaving the Welcome Center, you would pass through a dry creek bed and enter the gardens at The Trailhead – this would be an area with signage explaining the Gardens.
- From The Trailhead you could follow one of two paths
- The Lower Trail will take you past exhibit panels into a canyon or ravine. The sides of the ravine will be 8 ft. high on one side and up to 9-10 ft. high on the other. Deep into the ravine, you will come to a natural amphitheatre which will seat a classroom of school children. Within the ravine will be replicated bedrock mortars and a burned rock midden site including other exhibits.
- The Upper Trail will take you to the upper terrace or ridge line. This will be 8 ft. above street level. Here you will find more signage (under the Ramada), a hunter & gatherers Indian camp and examples of native grasses and plants.
- There will be small areas that will draw you in. For instance, a spiritual space, a trickling waterfall, a hidden plant community, places to sit and reflect, places to read information.