Conserving a legacy: Truckee district to dedicate environmental gem to late local icon |

Conserving a legacy: Truckee district to dedicate environmental gem to late local icon

Greyson Howard
Sierra Sun
Provided to the Sun by the Truckee Donner Public UA plaque at the entrance to the conservation garden commemerates long-time board member Pat Sutton. The new garden will be dedicated on Wednesday.

TRUCKEE, Calif. and#8212; As state-required metered water bills start rolling out over the next couple of years, Truckee’s utility district is sharing water-saving landscaping techniques with a new garden dedicated to a long-time board member.

Next Wednesday at the Truckee Donner Public Utility District building, the Patricia S. Sutton Conservation Garden will be dedicated to the eponymous 31-year board member who died earlier this year. The garden will demonstrate ways to save water in the yard from drought-resistant plants to smart irrigation.

and#8220;Pat (Sutton) has always been a big supporter of the garden, and has a legacy of being a champion for water issues, so when she passed away the board came up with this idea,and#8221; said Steven Poncelet, public information and conservation manager for the district.

The garden, adjacent to and in front of the district’s main building, demonstrates native and drought-resistant plants, lawn-replacement with native and bunch grasses, mulching and weed barriers, efficient water systems and and#8220;hardscaping,and#8221; Poncelet said.

and#8220;All the native plants and lawn replacements use up to two-thirds less water, and some of the plants after a few years probably won’t need any watering at all,and#8221; Poncelet said.

Their smart watering system, a pilot program installed at the garden and some other commercial users around the community, uses software looking at local weather, evaporation and transpiration rates to decide exactly how much water is needed, Poncelet said.

And the hardscaping, including gravel, a dry stream bed and stepping stones, features a foot bridge made out of old redwood that used to be part of a tank from the original Donner Lake water system.

Information on all the materials, plants and techniques will be available on plaques in the garden, in brochures to take home, and at the website,