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Avenues residents celebrate conservation garden

(Deseret News) People called the swath of land on the corner of 11th Avenue and Terrace Hills all sorts of things — "weed patch," "eyesore" and "used-car lot," to name a few.

But after nearly three years of work from city and community leaders, the once overrun piece of public utilities land has a name Salt Lake City residents say they can be proud of — the Greater Avenues Water Conservation Garden.

"I don't know how many of you purchased cars at this erstwhile used-car lot," City Councilman Eric Jergensen joked during the park's opening Wednesday. "It has turned into a really great gem of this community."

The park, officials hope, will double as an educational tool for the neighborhood.

"As a sustainability advocate, the education piece is very big," said Jim Jenkin, the Greater Avenues Community Council's chairman-elect. "Without that, you have just another group of plants. I'm hoping the neighborhood will take this as an example of how to do water-wise landscaping the correct way."

The park's designers steered clear of traditional grasses and trees, opting instead for vegetation that should reduce the need for watering.

"Too many people think a beautiful yard needs Kentucky bluegrass," said Tom Berggren, who helped spearhead the efforts.

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