Water Resources Center Watsonville, California

City of Watsonville – Water Resources Center

The program for development of the site, formerly used for agricultural row crops, was to restore it to pre-agricultural conditions. Central to the site’s development was storm water management and the integration of bio-swales and infiltration swales into the overall landscape. These elements form the basis for an interpretive, educational component running throughout the project.

The site retains stormwater on-site and the bioswales landscaping filters, stores, and slows the flow of stormwater away from buildings and paved areas. Irrigation is used for plant establishment only, and is predominantly an efficient drip system, using recycled non-potable water. When irrigation is turned off, the habitat will become seasonal in its growth patterns.

The project strives to create an ecologically diverse extension to the adjacent Pajaro River corridor. The plant palette is typical of that found in similar natural coastal terrace ecosystems.

Client: WRNS Studio
Owner: City of Watsonville
Awards: AIA/COTE Top Ten Green Projects in 2010
Sustainability: LEED Platinum, Net Zero Energy