American's yards are the fastest-growing ecosystem in North America. Happily, there is growing interest in landscaping with native and drought-tolerant plants. The grounds at the Jim Hall Foothills Learning Center provide a public place to see the beauty of a waterwise and firewise native landscape.
The grounds are landscaped with native and drought-tolerant plants, including native grasses and wildflowers that replaced a water-thirsty lawn. Firewise features include proper plant placement around the building, breaks in the vegetation,and using footpaths as fire breaks, thus reducing wildfire risk.. Hardscape was kept to a minimum by finishing patios and paths with permeable decomposed granite.
With installation in phases, the Jim Hall Foothills Learning Center grounds are an evolving project. Phase One included re-contouring the parking lot and installing swales to capture stormwater runoff; creation of a butterfly garden that also serves as the center of a bus turn-around; and our beautiful pink sidewalk. Phase Two saw creation of our outdoor amphitheater; paths and patios surfaced in decomposed granite to allow water to flow through; installation of drought-tolerant plants around the building; and the seeding of native grasses in our lawn area.
A native plant garden has been installed thanks to the generous financial donation of a Boise family. The garden features southwest Idaho native plants, interpretation and information about those plants and their use in YOUR landscape, magical exploration for children, and a sculpture honoring the element of fire.