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Classes and Events at The Water Conservation Garden

Garden Tours and Events

Children birdwatching at The Water Conservation Garden
Children birdwatching at the Garden.
Photo by Helix Water District.

Garden Tours

  • Weekend Tour Schedule:  Docent-led tours of the Garden are held every Saturday at 10:00 a.m.

  • Specialty Tours:  Specialty Tours are offered on select Saturdays at 10:00am covering a variety of gardening topics. Please visit our calendar of events to view offerings.  Specialty tours are offered in addition to the general garden tours held each Saturday at 10:00am.

  • Adult Tours:  To schedule an adult group tour at any time during open hours, call 619-660-0614.

  • Children's Tours:  To schedule a children’s tour for groups of forty or less, call 619-660-0614, ext. 10.

  • Tour Fees: Saturday and Sunday drop-in tours are free of charge. We request a fee of $5 per person for scheduled group tours. Children under 12 are free of charge.

Spring / Summer 2015 Classes & Events List


Garden Events

June 13, 2015:  Native Habitat Garden, General Public Opening

The new Native Habitat exhibit at the Water Conservation Garden is an example of ecological landscape design, a design approach that attempts to replicate critical aspects of local ecosystems. Natural associations of local native plants, called plant communities, will form the basic framework of the exhibit. Three plant communities will be represented, each with its own unique set of plants, habitat structure, microclimate characteristics, and potential plant/animal interactions: types of cover, food sources, nesting areas, etc. The close association of these plant communities will also form an ecotone, a transitional space between biotic communities with highly productive habitat value. A runoff retention basin will capture surface runoff during rains and support riparian (streamside) plants chosen to tolerate this seasonal inundation as well as summer drought. Coastal sage scrub herbaceous perennials will form the core of the habitat, and will appear as a diverse mass of 4’ tall flowers in the spring and summer buzzing with life. The perimeter of the exhibit will be planted as an Oak Woodland, a mixed tree community with an associated group of understory plants that tolerate conditions of dry shade and support many bird species.

Because the Dorcas E. Utter Memorial Butterfly Pavilion sits at the center of the new habitat, special attention is given to the support of local butterfly species. 90% of the keystone species in the habitat are larval host plants, plants that feed the caterpillar phase of native butterflies. This kind of comprehensive plant/animal support can only be provided by an ecologically oriented design. Generalized habitat gardening approaches that use a global palette of plants and address habitat structure broadly will only attract generalist animals already comfortable with human developed spaces. The threatened Monarch butterfly gets special pride-of-place, supported by the addition 5 species of native milkweeds to the habitat, each placed within the plant community that best supports them.


July 19, 2015:  Members-Only Stargazing Event

Garden Members at The Wild Grape level ($100) and above are invited to attend our Moon and Stargazing Party with local astronomer George Varga. Get a spectacular view of a crescent, waxing moon and planets such as Venus, Jupiter and the rings of Saturn! 

We will also be celebrating the 46th Anniversary of the Apollo Landing on the Moon with special star-themed cookies, moon pies, Swiss cheese and other out-of-this world refreshments. 

Space is limited so reserve your spot today for this fun and relaxing evening in The Garden!

Register Now

For more information, please contact Pia Piscitelli at 619-660-0614 x14 or pia@thegarden.org

Clouds/weather permitting we should get a spectacular view of the planet Saturn rising in the Southeast. With the telescope, visitors will be able to see the rings of Saturn. Venus will be hanging in the Western sky, very bright, with only the Moon being brighter. Venus will appear like a very small crescent Moon. The Moon will be a crescent, waxing one and  approaching quarter phase. Waxing mean that the Moon is increasing in brightness from one night to the next. Also in the Western sky and higher than Venus is Jupiter. On the evening the July 19th, we should be able to see three, if not all four, Galilean Moons. These Moons were first observed by Galileo in 1610 and got him into a lot of "hot water". 


July 26, 2015, 6:00pm:  San Diego Concert Band, "An Evening of Music in The Garden"

The San Diego Concert Band presents "An Evening of Music in The Garden" in The Garden's outdoor amphitheater. The evening's program depicts our American heritage through music that includes light classics, historical themes, and modern compositions for concert band. The award-winning band is based in La Mesa and has been playing formal programs and summer concerts in San Diego County and Southern California for over 25 years.

Tickets: Adults $15; Student/Military/Senior (55+)/Garden Members: $12; Children (5 and under) free. Concert-goers are welcome to bring a picnic dinner. Alcoholic beverages not permitted.

Tickets now on sale now! Purchase tickets in The Garden Gift Shop
or online at www.sandiegoconcertband.com.


October 17, 2015:  "The Enchanted Garden" Gala

The Enchanted Garden Gala at The Water Conservation Garden


Open daily, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.   Admission is by suggested donation.

The Water Conservation Garden is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, Federal Tax ID# 20-4395919.

The Water Conservation Garden  •  12122 Cuyamaca College Drive West  •  El Cajon  California  92019
Tel: (619) 660-0614  •  info@TheGarden.org