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.
“A lot of what we do in our work is about compromise,” said Greeley Mayor John Gates at the meeting. “I think this option allows the natural grass to proceed in a large portion of the park, spruces up the memorials, saves somewhat on mowing, clearly saves on water, and it is the best possible option that I think we have.”
Residents can watch a recording of the work session presentation by visiting the City’s YouTube channel. Additional Bittersweet Park project details can be found at greeleygov.com/bittersweet.
This decision was informed by the results of a community survey that the Council had requested in January, which asked residents:
- Their preference for either keeping Bittersweet Park as-is and allowing the Colorado native grass to grow and complete its cycle or changing the park to something else
- How residents currently use the park
- Where they live in proximity to Bittersweet.
Nearly 1,400 surveys were completed from March 5-20 with over 4,000 comments provided (including social media).
“Greeley residents love their parks, and Bittersweet is no exception,” said City of Greeley Parks Superintendent Eric Bloomer. “We appreciate all of the feedback that has been provided over the last several months and we look forward to watching Bittersweet Park reach its full potential.”
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
A year and a half in, the park looks much different than it did prior to the conversion, as the native grasses take root. While it may vary, on average it takes three to five growing seasons in a semi-arid climate such as Greeley for native grasses to become established.
To learn more about current and upcoming park projects throughout Greeley, visit greeleygov.com/parks.