Discover how to create a healthy, wildlife friendly garden at Metro’s learning gardens. Find out ways to manage garden pests without pesticides. See how to make compost to enrich your soil. Learn about Northwest native plants that will attract beneficial wildlife.
Interpretive signs in the gardens allow visitors to learn at their own pace. Scheduled garden activities are also provided to teach visitors of all ages how to garden naturally through fun, hands-on learning.
Blue Lake Natural Discovery Garden
Smell the flowers, touch the leaves and feel inspired by this peaceful, playful demonstration garden at Blue Lake Regional Park. Gather ideas to make your yard pesticide-free and a fun, safe place for kids, pets, pollinators and songbirds. Learn how natural gardening can protect water ways, natural areas and wildlife that live there, too.
Explore the garden on your own or participate in free scheduled family friendly activities led by Metro’s Natural Gardening Experts and the Young Environmental Educator team. Activities vary, and include scavenger hunts and crafts. The discovery garden is wheelchair accessible, open year-round during regular park hours and entry is included with park admission.
Visting Blue Lake Regional Park
Wildlife Garden at the Oregon Zoo
The Wildlife Garden is located next to the Education Center at the Oregon Zoo. Visitors learn how to protect and encourage pollinators, discover critters that help make compost and view native flowers that provide habitat and food for wildlife. Garden educators are available seasonally to answer questions and provide fun gardening activities.
In the spring and summer, the garden comes to life with visiting wildlife. Native bees, like the mason bee, build nests in the pollinator palace. Butterflies and bumblebees collect nectar and pollen from native flowers and birds and spiders feed on small garden pests. At the composting station, visitors can dig and search for compost critters while learning how small animals, like worms and millipedes, feed on decomposing plants to make soil.
Throughout the garden are sculptures of native wildlife made of recycled metal by local artist Matthew Smith. Each sculpture provides a larger-than-life look at some of the beneficial pollinators and pest eaters that visit the garden.
Visiting the Oregon Zoo
Cooper Mountain Demonstration Garden
Cooper Mountain Nature Park features a demonstration garden with colorful, low-maintenance, wildlife-friendly plants. From bountiful blossoms, to fabulous fall foliage and dancing grasses, the plants in this garden are all great looking, easy to grow and support wildlife, and they won't invade natural areas. Gather ideas here for planting your own natural, pesticide-free garden at home or check out the Cooper Mountain garden guide for plant ideas to help you maximize the growing conditions of the area's climate. Open for self-guided visits during park hours unless otherwise posted.
Visiting Cooper Mountain Nature Park