By Eric Brown
A Northern Water grant program launched last year is now funding 12 projects that will bring additional water-efficient landscapes to the region and also create new education opportunities for the public.
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About $130,000 was awarded this spring through Northern Water’s Collaborative Water- Efficient Landscape Grant Program for projects that are now underway.
The recipients include local government entities and HOAs located throughout Northern Water’s boundaries, with the projects consisting of irrigation-system upgrades, incorporating Colorado climate-friendly plants into the landscapes, and turf-to-native-grass conversions.
In addition to helping fund the projects, Northern Water will also provide signage and other materials at these sites in an effort to help educate the public.
“We couldn’t be more excited about the quality and diversity of these projects, as well as their potential impact in educating the public about wise outdoor water use,” said Frank Kinder, the manager of the Water Efficiency Department at Northern Water.
The amount of funding support awarded to each entity ranges from about $3,000 up to the maximum of $15,000, depending on the scope of the project. A 50 percent match is required of the grant recipients.
Here’s a list of the recipients and the projects Northern Water’s Collaborative Water-Efficient Landscape Grant Program is currently supporting:
- Champion Greens Homeowners Association in Longmont, implementing irrigation- system upgrades and improved water efficiency across their landscapes
- Prospect Homeowners Association in Longmont, completing 13,650 total square-feet of landscape installations across the community’s alleyways, outlots and other areas, by installing drip-irrigation systems, xeric plant material and proper mulching techniques
- City of Boulder, implementing 1,075 total square-feet of water-efficient garden beds at the North Boulder Recreation Center
- Mariana Cove Homeowners Association in Loveland, renovating 13,480 square-feet of landscape across four areas, using water-efficient plants and implementing irrigation- system upgrades
- Oakridge Village VII Homeowners Association in Fort Collins, converting 1.4 acres of cool-season turf to native grass, installing a 525-square-foot planting bed with water-efficient plants and upgrading irrigation systems
- Kendall Brook Master Homeowners Association in Loveland, establishing native grasses adjacent to a City of Loveland recreation trail and replacing existing irrigation controllers with smart controllers
- Seven Lakes Master Association in Loveland, renovating a 23,000-square-foot turf landscape using various water-efficient plant material
- Fairway Ridge Homeowners Association in Loveland, converting 5,000 square-feet of turf to water-efficient landscape plants across three of the community’s areas
- CSU Extension in Larimer County, demonstrating six mini landscapes, comparing the amount of water each one uses, and then using those results to help educate the public on wise outdoor water use
- Town of Berthoud, completing a 1,400-square-foot xeric pollinator garden that will serve as a site to educate the public on water-efficient gardening and pollinator habitat
- Town of Eaton, completing a 1.3-acre “Colorado native educational park” that will help educate the public on native plant material, pollinators and water-efficient landscaping
- Town of Windsor, completing irrigation audits at six parks and implementing recommendations from those audits
Northern Water is already getting the next cycle of Collaborative Water-Efficient Landscape Grants underway. Here’s an outline of key dates:
- Consultations for applicants July 1-Sept. 30, 2019
- Accepting applications Oct. 1-Nov 15, 2019
- Applicants notified Jan. 15, 2020
- Contracts signed/projects can start March 15, 2020
- Project completion deadline Aug. 31, 2020
Northern Water, a public agency created in 1937, provides water for agricultural, municipal, domestic and industrial uses to an eight-county service area with a population of about 980,000. Northern Water and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation operate the Colorado-Big Thompson Project, which collects water on the West Slope and delivers it to Northeastern Colorado through a 13-mile tunnel beneath Rocky Mountain National Park. It and the Municipal Subdistrict are currently developing the Windy Gap Firming Project and the Northern Integrated Supply Project to enhance Front Range water supplies for the future.
Potential applicants are required to take part in a consultation with Northern Water prior to submitting an application. Anyone wanting to schedule a pre-application consultation can do so by contacting Chad Kuhnel at 970-622-2566 or at email@example.com.
Additional details and updates about the grant program are available at www.northernwater.org.