This week, City of Greeley parks staff started converting 5.6 acres of native grass at Bittersweet Park—16th Street and 35th Avenue—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. Some weeds will receive additional spot treatment to ensure their removal.
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 at the corner of 16th Street and 35th Avenue 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.
Sidewalks and Timeline
City officials ask park users 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 conversion will finish by October 2022, weather permitting.
“We are so appreciative of the feedback and conversations we have had with those who live and play at Bittersweet,” said City of Greeley Parks Superintendent Eric Bloomer. “This project highlights the importance of having an engaged community to create spaces and places that everyone can enjoy.”
How We Got Here
In 2020, the park underwent a series of improvements based on feedback from residents. Improvements included:
- Replacement of a 30-year-old, leaking irrigation system
- Construction of a new soft-surface trail
- Conversion of 21 acres of high water-use turf grass to alternative, water-conserving grass varieties
In 2022, following several weeks of feedback and community input, Greeley City Council decided to make additional modifications to the grasses surrounding the two memorials at Bittersweet Park, converting 5.6 acres from native grass back to bluegrass.
To learn more about current and upcoming park projects throughout Greeley, visit greeleygov.com/parks.