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Heritage Gardens

Native Plant Education - Sustainable Landscaping - Honoring Regional Heritage

The Heritage Garden Program is a garden certification program dedicated to creating water-wise gardens that incorporate native plants of Washington State.  

Heritage Gardens also honor the unique natural and cultural features of the Columbia River Basin. 


Heritage Garden
services are free in participating counties and include:

  • Site Visits 

  • Customized plant lists

  • Technical Advice   

  • Inspirational Planting Guides

  • Interested in Creating Your Own Heritage Garden?

Characteristics of Heritage Gardens Include:

  • Promote the use of native plants especially those of cultural significance.

  • Promote low-water use landscaping & efficient irrigation methods.

  • Educate our community about the history and biodiversity of the Columba River Basin.


The Heritage Garden Program is brought to our community by the Benton and Franklin Conservation Districts in partnership with the Columbia Basin Chapter of the Native Plant Society.



The Benton Conservation District has developed a program to assist landowners with the implementation of Xeriscaping in the Tri-Cities.

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What is Xeriscaping?

The word Xeriscaping (pronounced zer-i’-scaping) is a blend of the words xeros (Greek for "dry") and landscape. The term was coined by Denver Water, the water department of Denver Colorado, in the early 1980’s and is used to describe the use of native and climate adapted plants in our landscapes.

Creating Planting Zones

Whether you are planting native or non-native plants each individual plant will thrive best in certain soil types, sunlight conditions and with certain irrigation requirements. In Xeriscaping plants are grouped and planted in hydrazones. Hydrazones are areas of your yard that receive different amounts of water.

Low water planting Xeriscaping

Very Low/No Water Zone

In this area of your yard plant native plants that will thrive on the amount of natural precipitation that we receive locally. Drip systems may be temporarily installed to help plants become established. Once plants are established supplemental irrigation should not be required.

Low water planting Xeriscaping

Low Water Zone

In the Low Water Zone plant native and non-native plants. Non-native plants can add color, texture and diversity to your landscape. Make sure you select plants that don’t require a substantial amount of water and that will thrive on a drip irrigation system.

Moderate Water Plantings

Moderate Water Zone

This area of your yard would be typically planted to grass or higher water use landscaping areas and focal points. If available use a turf/lawn that has a lower irrigation requirement.


Take a Virtual Tour of the Hansen Park Garden

See photos and the design of a Heritage Garden Benton CD helped install at a park in Kennewick. 

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