Rio Rancho Waterwise Demonstration Garden

WaterWise Garden IMG_2773

Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Thought is the blossom; language the bud; action the fruit behind it.”

The Garden illustrates the following features in a lovely park setting:

  • Native Southwest and drought tolerant plants
  • Drip, sprinkle and spray irrigation systems
  • Examples of bark, pecan, wood chip, crusher fine and gravel mulches
  • Water harvesting techniques: dry creek beds, swales, berms and drain ways to catchment areas
  • Slope planting techniques
  • Paths connecting gardens utilizing various local materials
  • A Meditation Garden and mediation spiral
  • A grape arbor with fruit bearing vines

Volunteers are needed the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month from March through October – 8:30 AM to 11AM.

Meeting Location: WaterWise Garden, 950 Pine Tree Road; Rio Rancho NM 87124 (just off Southern Blvd., between Rio Rancho Post Office & Esther Bone Library east side of parking lot)

Volunteer opportunities are open to Master Gardeners and RR Tree Stewards.  Directed volunteers are needed for pruning, weeding, general grooming and maintenance; contact Carol Groppell or Christine Tade for the garden’s current needs and sign-ups.

Main Education/Training Tasks: Volunteers receive hands-on training and education about the care, maintenance and propagation of the plants and trees growing in this garden. Volunteers experience the joys and gratification of gardening even if they don’t have one of their own. Volunteers received hands-on experience locating and repairing the irrigation system. The garden is available for educational group tours and demonstrations. Restrictions or Special Requirements: There are uneven walking surfaces throughout the garden. In addition, the City of Rio Rancho does not allow smoking or alcoholic beverages in the Garden.

Completed Projects:

  1. Built shelves and tool hangers and organized tool shed
  2. Added Pecan Shell mulch
  3. Planted many varieties of trees, shrubs and perennials
  4. Works with Rio Rancho City Park personnel to check and improve irrigation system and the garden
  5. Served as one of the three demonstration gardens for the 2018 Master Gardener annual conference

Happenings and Events:

  • Esther Bone Library and the WaterWise Garden Partner for an annual Earth Day Celebration, Arbor Day Celebration and an evening “Walk and Talk”
  • Please check the Event Calendar for upcoming events…

The WaterWise Demonstration Garden (WWG) in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, is a cooperative effort of the City of Rio Rancho and the Sandoval Extension Master Gardeners, who also partner with the Rio Grande Basin Initiative, Rio Rancho Tree Steward Volunteers and local businesses. The WaterWise Garden adjoins the Veterans Memorial Park and encompasses land which has been divided into multiple gardening zones to exemplify landscapes that are easy to replicate in the Southwest homeowner’s property. The Garden originated in 2001 through the visionary efforts of Tina Forgrave with award winning updates and expansions occurring in 2006 through 2008.

The Rio Rancho WaterWise Demonstration Garden was awarded the 2009 International Master Gardener “Search For Excellence Award!” “Search for Excellence” is a program recognizing Master Gardener volunteer work throughout the United States and Canada. The “Search for Excellence” is designed to recognize outstanding group projects, not an individual who does outstanding work.


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Upcoming Events

1:30 pm Plant Telehealth Clinic by NMSU
Plant Telehealth Clinic by NMSU
Nov 30 @ 1:30 pm – 5:20 pm
Plant Telehealth Clinic by NMSU
Students from the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences at New Mexico State University will host a free virtual plant diagnosis clinic for community members with plant health problems later this month. The 2020[...]
3:00 pm Gardening Gift Ideas
Gardening Gift Ideas
Dec 2 @ 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Join the Ready, Set, GROW crew as we share our favorite garden-related books, tools, and gear! Please register online at
1:30 pm SEMG Advisory Council meeting vi...
SEMG Advisory Council meeting vi...
Dec 15 @ 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm
Please join the monthly Sandoval Extension Master Gardener Advisory Council meeting. To receive the Zoom invitation please send an email to 
3:00 pm Hybrid Grapes, Hardwood Cuttings...
Hybrid Grapes, Hardwood Cuttings...
Dec 16 @ 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Dr. Gill Giese of Extension Plant Sciences will present Hybrid Grapes, Hardwood Cuttings, & Holiday Wine Pairings.  To register for the event go to


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