Parks, Trails & Open Space Conservation Programs - 2019

Throughout the year, the Town’s Community Resources and Public Works teams focus on three key initiatives to protect and enhance the parks, trails and open spaces that make Firestone a beautiful place to live, work and play. The three initiatives are:

  1. Soil Maintenance and Enhancement through fertilization and aeration
  2. Water Management and Conservation through expansion and updates to the Town’s irrigation systems, and Native Grass Conversion.
  3. Sustainability based on smart planning as new parks, trails and open spaces are constructed, as well as selecting existing areas to convert to native grasses that use less water.

The Town is moving forward with the next phase of meeting our goals of water management and conservation, through a Native Grass Conversion, in two of our existing parks: Mountain Shadows Park and Settlers Park. The areas that were identified as optimal, are areas not being used by the community, storm detention areas, sloped or graded areas ideal for conversion to native grass, and where native grass will add to the aesthetics of the parks. In addition to water conservation, native seeding assists with stabilization by reducing erosion. This reduces the spread of non-native and invasive plants in these areas. The conversion to native grass is also beneficial for wildlife, native birds and the ecosystem.

What will I see happening? And when will this happen?

  • March - April: Begin Turf Grass Removal from identified areas with an herbicide application – two (2) week process
  • Removal of treated turf – three (3) week process
  • May: Apply native seed mixture with either broadcast or direct drill application – three (3) week growth cycle
  • June: Visual evidence of plant growth

Why is this important to Firestone?

Water is essential for human survival and well-being, and important to many sectors of the economy. While water used inside a home is for drinking, cooking and bathing, water usage outside of our homes for parks and recreation is a precious resource. It's important that the Town of Firestone conserves water where we can, to make this resource last for the future. Like other municipalities along the Colorado Front Range, Firestone is faced with the challenges of meeting water demands that accompany the large growth it is experiencing. This growth, coupled with the fact that water is becoming less available and more expensive, places a premium on water conservation. The Town recognizes the need to conserve water in order to maximize the effectiveness of its currently owned water resources.

The Table below explains the benefits of converting to native grass during the fall season for maximum success of the project.



Start to plant in April until June

  • Cool season weeds can be eliminated before planting.
  • On erosion prone sites a cover crop can be mixed and planted at the same time as the natives.
  • Optimal for warm season grasses.
  • More time to do throrough soil preprations and spring weed control.
  • Clay soil is more difficult to work with.
  • Need of additional early mowing May 15 to June 7.
  • More watering is needed especially if you could moist stratify the seed.
  • Delayed (1yr) germination for those forbs and sedges which require cold moist stratification or over wintering.
*When to seed Source: Prairie Moon Nursery, Growing Your Prairie, p.4.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What Parks will the Town begin the Native Grass Conversion?

A. The two parks identified for 2019 are Mountain Shadows Park and Settlers Park.

Q. How much of the parks will be converted to Native Grass and where in the parks?

A. Mountain Shadows Park is 16.99 acres. The Town is converting 5.56 +/- acres to Native Grass. The identified areas of conversion in Mountain Shadows Park is along the north side and the west side of the park.

Settlers Park is 14 acres. The Town will be converting 2.60 +/- acres to Native Grass. The identified areas of conversion in Settlers Park is along the west side of the park.

This estimates saving approximately 32% of water for each of these parks.

Q. How will the existing areas be converted to Native Grass?

A. The Town will be applying an herbicide to the identified areas. The herbicide is safe for animals and this will kill the grass before it is removed. This process takes about two weeks. After this is done, the Town will cut and remove the dead grass, lay down compost, and then the Town will either apply seed using broadcast or direct drill application on  the areas. 

Q. What is the benefit both cost and conservation with the Town doing a Native Grass Conversion?

A. Converting the identified areas will move the Town closer to its goal of water conservation, and being good stewards of a precious resource. The areas that will have Native Grass will only need to be watered a few times a year. Also, maintenance and mowing of these areas will also be reduced significantly.

Q. What other municipalities have programs similar to the Town’s for conservation of water?

A. City of Denver, Colorado Springs, Evans, Westminster and Aurora.

Q. What are Native Grasses?

A. Native grasses are various regional and national grasses that were original to the particular area of the country (USA). Some varieties have adapted for use as lawn turf (buffalo grass) or wildlife and livestock forage. Grasses are divided into two main categories of warm and cool season grasses.

Q. What are the differences between warm and cool season grasses?

A. Warm season grasses are dormant from the first frost in fall until after the last frost in spring. They prefer warm summer temperatures and require less water during the growing season. Cool season grasses prefer the moderate temperatures of spring and fall. They stay green longer in the fall and break dormancy earlier in the spring. However, they go dormant during the heat of summer without copious amounts of water.

If you have any questions please email or call 303-833-3291.