Bittersweet Park 2022

August 2022 Update

In August, City of Greeley parks staff started converting 5.6 acres of native grass at Bittersweet Park back to traditional Kentucky Bluegrass. The conversion comes from a decision made by Greeley City Council following community-wide feedback. The conversion process will include several rounds of mowing and herbicide to remove the existing native grass and weeds. Then crews will remove cut grasses that can't be tilled into the soil. If needed, crews might do some ground and earthwork to change the drainage. After the earthwork, crews will prepare the soil and install bluegrass sod.

During the conversion, residents will notice brown grasses and dirt around the Weld County Veterans Memorial to the spillway just north of the Fallen Officers memorial. Trees and spaces outside the conversion area will continue to be watered and maintained during the project.

City officials ask park users to stay on designated sidewalks in the area undergoing conversion. During the earthwork and sod installation, sidewalks in the area may close temporarily for safety. Officials anticipate the conversation will finish by October 2022, weather permitting.

Bittersweet Park Project History

In early 2019 the City of Greeley hired the landscape architecture team of Matrix Design group to help lead three community outreach and engagement sessions aimed at identifying opportunities for water conservation and site amenity improvements at Bittersweet Park. At thirty years old, the irrigation system had become inefficient and was experiencing failure. Park staff felt this was a unique opportunity to partner with water resource teams and Greeley citizens to implement water conservation measures and identify park improvement opportunities. Greeley residents chose to implement a water conservation project that will convert 21 acres of high water use turf grass to alternative varieties that once established, will reduce water consumption, improve urban habitat, reduce maintenance hours and add additional pathway improvements throughout the park. It is not surprising that residents chose an aggressive approach given that Greeley has been a leader in water conservation for many years.

Work began as scheduled in the spring of 2020 and by fall of 2020 the irrigation system has been completed and the first seeding of the site has been completed.  Throughout the fall of 2020 and into the future, work crews will monitor native seed growth and reseed where necessary.  Additionally, as with all seeding projects, weeds will continue to be a nuisance until the native grasses are well established.  There is no set amount of time for the native grasses to become established; however, the average length of time in a semi-arid climate such as Greeley is 3-5 growing seasons. The first season, in this case, 2020, was the most noticeable for weed growth. Crews worked to cut and remove weeds and reseed the native grasses with the expectation that each season would produce fewer weeds and larger stands of native grasses across the site.

Greeley City Council Work Session Presentation - April 2022

Following several weeks of feedback and community input about the 2020 Bittersweet Park irrigation and landscape updates, Greeley City Council came to a consensus to make additional modifications. At its work session on Tuesday, April 12, Council directed City staff to convert the areas surrounding the Weld County Veterans and Fallen Officers memorials, approximately 5.6 acres, back to bluegrass. The conversion will allow better access to the sites for annual events, improve aesthetics along 35th Avenue, and keeps the existing irrigation system. City staff will now look at budgeting for the project and the timeline for installation of the new grass around the memorials. Watch the video to hear the full discussion.

Thank you to everyone that shared their feedback, stopped by one of our pop-up events to chat, and/or took the online survey for Bittersweet Park. Over 1,400 surveys, including over 4,000 comments, were collected from residents all across Greeley, and beyond. The survey is now closed.

Why These Changes?

  • Conserve water with efficient irrigation and native plants
  • Increase park’s drought-tolerance, landscape resiliency, and resource sustainability
  • Provide additional wildlife habitat and plant diversity
  • Reduce fertilizer and chemical applications to existing bluegrass
  • Provide community access to park’s natural resources
  • Enhance existing recreational opportunities within park

Images of wildlife that could live in Bittersweet Park

Project Schedule

project scheule timeline graphic

A City of Greeley Parks and Water Conservation Project

Bittersweet Park GMap


Contact Us

Parks Office: 970-350-9390