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Conservation Garden

The 3,000 sq. ft. Conservation Garden at the Virginia Living Museum showcases earth-friendly ways to garden that can also bring back the native vegetation that has been destroyed from urban development. This garden is part of a partnership between the National Wildlife Federation and museums/gardens nationwide to promote “gardening to reduce global warming.”


The Conservation Garden is separated into seven different themed landscape beds (each with educational signage) around the Living Green demonstration house.

As visitors walk from one themed garden bed to another they will see actual demonstrations of the suggested green gardening techniques featured in the signage of that area as follows:

Less to the Landfill

Features ways to reduce the amount of material going to the landfill (e.g., recycling old lumber to build garden features, composting yard waste, etc.)

Save Water

Features a rain garden, rain barrels and use of native plants to demonstrate ways to reduce the use of municipal water

Conserve Energy

Features ways a garden can reduce home energy use (e.g., planting shade trees to reduce summer air conditioning needs, using less gas powered equipment, etc.)

Wildlife Habitats

Features ways you can attract wildlife to your backyard (e.g., use of native plants, providing areas of cover, providing bird feeders/houses, etc.)

Nurture the Soil

Features ways to improve the health of your soil (e.g., by composting, mulching, and reduced use of pesticides and synthetic fertilizers). This area has on display 4 different compost systems that gardeners can use

Protect the Watershed

Features ways a garden can protect the Bay (e.g., through capturing storm water for use in the garden, using less pesticides and fertilizers, replacing asphalt and concrete driveways/walkways with pavers that allow penetration of rainwater, etc.)

Contribute to a Healthy Community

Features ways that a garden space can improve the whole community (e.g. reducing the size of your lawn areas to minimize the use of irrigation and gas powered lawn equipment, using less pesticides and fertilizers that can spread to other areas, reducing noise pollution, etc.)