Water Conservation. It's For Life.

Jack Hegenauer


Academic research biochemist and science administrator (retired)


Volunteering and contributing to environmental causes and efforts – especially those that preserve our quality of life and oppose overdevelopment of the community; converting gasoline cars to electric vehicles; hiking; ballroom dancing; gardening and bonsai.

Favorite national or state park:

Grand Tetons, no contest.

Favorite flower/plant/tree:

Japanese Black Pine

Favorite gardening book:

Sunset’s Western Garden Book

Jack’s thoughts on his garden:

It’s a place of urban beauty and tranquility that we have created with sweat equity and a lot of trial and error. It gives us pleasure even when we do things as mundane as pulling weeds.

What surprises people most about my water-wise landscaping:

It’s possible to focus the proliferation of a garden around just a few important items if you aren’t faced with the prospect of watering the whole expanse every day. We’ve been able to reduce water usage inside and outside, while growing several species that take quite a bit of water (figs, for example).

What I like most about my water-wise garden:

It’s a bit like bonsai … you can control how fast plants and trees grow by limiting their water consumption, and relieve yourself of the need to weed, prune, and discard tons of unwanted greenery. We get to grow what we want – including some vegetables – and appreciate the process. At the same time, we are limiting the amount of green waste that would simply decay in a landfill and turn into carbon dioxide emissions. The planet doesn’t need any more of that.

Saving water is important because…

…it is becoming an irreplaceable resource that comes to our homes at great costs in politics, money, and energy, and it’s never quite as pure the second time around, even if it goes into the ocean.