Water Smart Landscaping

With the record breaking periods of drought our region experienced over the past several decades, the associated watering restrictions, and the knowledge that we need to change our perspective on irrigation practices, the Park’s Department embarked on a plan to reduce our water use in 2022.

What we currently doing to reduce water use in parks:

  • Creating water budgets and comparing actual metered consumption against the legitimate outdoor water needs based on the landscape area.
  • Following best practices and least-cost IRP (integrated resource planning) to help reduce water consumption. 
    • Only irrigating our turf areas and garden beds when necessary instead of "golf course watering".
    • Reducing evapotranspiration loss by watering at night instead of during the heat of the day.
  • Setting standards that must be met for landscaping design that utilize low-water and drought tolerant species.
  • Replacing traditional bluegrass turf with native grasses and xeric plants when construction disturbance provides the opportunity for creating naturalized areas. 
    • Veltus Park demonstration garden (to be completed fall of 2023)

What can you do to reduce water use in your own yard?

  • Water only at night, and try to avoid watering when its very windy.
  • Use mulch and native or "near-native" ground cover to reduce water loss.
  • Use creative hardscape designs to take up space (boulders, logs, dry streambeds, or artwork).
  • If you are interested in learning more, Colorado State University has a very informative Water Wise Landscape Design Guide with tons of information on irrigation, water zones, and plant selection.

If you want to remove irrigated turf and replace it with water smart species, make sure you take advantage of the rebate programs offered by the City's Water Department in partnership with Garfield County. You can receive up to $2,000 for replacing your thirsty bluegrass!

Check out our  Recommended Low Water Use Tree and Plant Quick Guide and choose the right tree or plant for the right place, or use our Expanded Landscaping Guide that includes trees and plants that may require more water as well as species that already grow here; and provides additional notes and suggestions.