▶️ “Nature-scaping” could help conserve much needed water


Nature-scaping, which is a gardening technique using native plants to the area in your home or lawn, is becoming a popular way to combat drought in Central Oregon.

“Well, nature-scaping is going to have to become what it is,” said April Warchol, a Master Gardener and Nature-Scaper.

Warchol transforms her native-scaped yard based on what will conserve the most water.

“Planting natural plants in groups that are similar drought and moisture related,” Warchol said.

Warchol’s water, like many in the area, was shut off in the middle of last summer.

There just isn’t enough to go around, but this is one way she believes she can help.

“Because if you look at the way we’re using water, we’re getting all this water and the farmers aren’t getting as much as they need,” Warchol said.

Today, forest service officials, and plant experts guided guests through a nature-scaping seminar.

“We’ve lived in the valley for 30 plus years, and had a place at the coast so this is all new to me,’ said Carol Lewallen, who attended the seminar.

“I’m lucky enough to have a couple of kids here who were lucky enough to get a house so they’re very interested in water conservation and natives,” said Jan Mayberry, who also attended.

The seminar taught attendees how to get permits to harvest their own native plants, what plants work the best in certain conditions, and how to utilize a yard space to make a landscape uniquely Central Oregon.

“Native plants are going to be more drought-tolerant or drought resistance than the colorful ones you can pick up at the local garden center,” said Jaimie Olle, the Public Affairs Specialist, for the Deschutes National Forest.

“Things that you might have thought were weeds like clovers are a very good replacement for lawns,” Warchol said.

Don’t be bummed out if you missed out on Thursday’s nature scaping chat, because the Forest Service is holding another presentation on Saturday at 10 AM at the Bend Fort Rock Ranger District.


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