HRCA leads the way in which on water-wise landscaping

If guests to the Highlands Ranch Eastridge Recreation Middle wonder if the doorway seems to be completely different, they’re right. That’s as a result of the Highlands Ranch Neighborhood Affiliation (HRCA) is within the means of changing grass within the affiliation with water-conserving xeriscapes. Utilizing a phased method, HRCA is now centered on renovating the 2 grass-covered islands on the entryway of the recreation heart. When completed, the 2 islands will function xeric vegetation and hardscapes whereas preserving all of the mature timber. The brand new landscapes will lower water use in these areas by half.

“We need to be good stewards of our water assets, which implies utilizing much less water on our out of doors landscapes whereas retaining the aesthetic attraction of Highlands Ranch,” stated HRCA Normal Supervisor Mike Bailey. For greater than a decade, HRCA has been changing grass in non-vital areas with xeriscaping and hopes to encourage different Highlands Ranch associations and residents to comply with their instance.  

As common temperatures rise and drought continues all through the state, the necessity for municipalities to extend water conservation up and down the Entrance Vary is paramount. The Centennial Water & Sanitation District lately introduced that it’s enacting Stage 1 drought restrictions efficient July 20 to encourage prospects, together with Highlands Ranch, to chop out of doors water use by 15%-20%. To assist obtain this, out of doors irrigation might be restricted to 2 days per week in accordance with Centennial Water’s adopted watering schedule.

Based on a examine by Colorado State College, a sq. foot of grass, on common, requires roughly 27” of water from April 15 to October 15. By pulling out grass and changing it with a well-designed xeriscape, out of doors water use might be lower by 50% to 70%.

The xeric panorama makeover at Eastridge Recreation Middle is being spearheaded by Highlands Ranch-based Garden Care Options. Based on the corporate’s proprietor, Scott Behnke, who attended Bear Canyon Elementary and graduated from Thunder Ridge Excessive Faculty, designing and putting in xeriscaping is a labor of affection.

Panorama skilled Scott Behnke (L) and HRCA Normal Supervisor Mike Bailey discussing xeriscaping

“Xeriscaping isn’t rock and cactus – xeriscaping might be as lovely as it’s water-wise, utilizing colourful “Plant Choose” vegetation which are indigenous to Colorado and may deal with our state’s excessive climate swings,” stated Behnke. Plant Choose varieties require much less water, much less upkeep and no pesticides. Plus, they entice pollinators like butterflies, hummingbirds and bees.

“The HRCA Board and Centennial Water & Sanitation District make it very easy for Highlands Ranch sub-associations and residents to put in xeriscaping,” stated Bailey. “Centennial Water provides a $1 greenback per sq. foot rebate for the set up of xeriscapes, and the HRCA Board is waiving the usual $40 architectural overview charge to approve xeriscaping plans. If a resident determined to exchange 400 sq. toes of sod with authorized xeriscaping, they’d have $440 to place into to their new water-wise panorama.”

Behnke practices what he preaches and has devoted his grownup life to plant care and well being. He’s an ISA Licensed Arborist, licensed by the Related Panorama Contractors of Colorado in Sustainable Panorama Administration (SLM) and an authorized Certified Water Environment friendly Landscaper (QWEL). He is also a CSU Grasp Gardener and a most well-liked installer for Plant Choose and Denver Botanic Gardens.

Highlands Ranch Neighborhood Affiliation is changing grass areas with xeriscape to preserve water

“Garden Care Options and Scott Behnke have been nice group companions for HRCA, serving to us determine water-wise alternatives and create water-conserving landscapes,” added Bailey. “These xeriscapes require much less water and fewer upkeep however retain the out of doors magnificence that makes Highlands Ranch a particular place.”

HRCA is the group affiliation for Highlands Ranch. The affiliation strives to “construct the approach to life that you just need to stay” in order that Highlands Ranch will proceed to be a fantastic place to stay, work and play. Extra data at https://hrcaonline.org.

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