ACWD's Water-Efficient Landscape Demonstration Garden

In 2016, the Alameda County Water District (ACWD) partnered with ReScape California (previously known as Bay-Friendly Coalition) to renovate its demonstration garden that promotes water-efficient landscaping. The garden is located in front of the ACWD headquarters and is available 24/7 for customers to visit at 43885 S. Grimmer Blvd., Fremont, CA 94538

The updated garden showcases plants and gardening techniques recommended by ACWD and ReScape and is designed to reduce irrigation demand through the use of native and drought-tolerant plants. Visit the garden today for inspiration on creating your own beautiful and unique water-efficient landscape!

The Garden

Demonstration Garden Map

The map above showcases the different sections in the demonstration garden, providing both residential and commercial landscape renovation ideas. Highlights of the garden include a stormwater capture basin, native and climate-adapted plants, low-energy light fixtures, and a weather-based irrigation controller. The garden has interpretive signage throughout, which describes the water-efficient elements and plants. 

Click here for a full list of plants installed in ACWD’s Demonstration Garden.

Click HERE for directions to the Demonstration Garden.

ReScape Rating

ACWD's Demonstration Garden is a ReScape Rated Landscape, which are landscapes that are certified using a rating system that recognizes excellence in regenerative landscape design, construction, and maintenance practices. ReScape Rated Landscapes incorporate the following eight landscaping principles:

  • Act Local - Create a landscape that is adapted to local climate and ecosystem conditions
  • Reduce Waste - Use recycled and salvaged products in the landscape and composting
  • Nurture Soil - Feed the soil, not the plant, to create a thriving community of microorganisms in the soil
  • Sequester Carbon - Maintain healthy vegetation and soil to remove carbon dioxide from the air and help reverse pollution
  • Save Water - Install drought-tolerant plants, install weather-based irrigation controllers, and use compost, mulch, and greywater
  • Conserve Energy - Shade paved areas to reduce the Heat Island Effect, buy local landscape products, and reduce mowing and shearing
  • Protect Water & Air - Use permeable hardscape and minimize use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers
  • Create Habitat - Install diverse, native plant species

Click here for more information on ReScape California and the eight landscaping practices ReScape promotes. 


For over 100 years, ACWD has been dedicated to supplying water to the residents and businesses of southern Alameda County. As the area grew and changed from being an important agricultural center to supporting a growing suburban population, our water system has had to adapt. ACWD recognizes the importance of water use efficiency and this demonstration garden is an example of how ACWD uses water wisely at its office locations and operating facilities. It is also a great resource for customers interested in water-efficient gardening techniques.

Demonstration Garden History Photos

The Demonstration Garden was originally installed in 1980 to showcase water-efficient landscaping to customers after a severe drought. It was so successful that in 1991 the garden was expanded. In 2013, the garden was in need of an update to increase plant diversity and add more features. The renovation was completed in 2017 with a grant from ReScape. Thank you ReScape!

More Resources

ACWD Rebates (including a Water-Efficient Landscape rebate!)

Water Wise Gardening in the Bay Area

BAWSCA Plant List