Here we are again. That time of year when we’ve weathered the last few late-season snowstorms Colorado is known for. Families are trading in time spent on the slopes for time spent in the river. We pack away the ski gloves and dust off a pair of our trusty gardening ones. It’s springtime: time to plant.
Before we start digging in the dirt, it’s important to think about the need to conserve our natural resources, specifically water. Over 50% of outdoor water use is poured into lawns and gardens. And more than half of that water is wasted through inefficiencies. Water is a precious commodity, and Westerners know firsthand the impacts of drought and low-water years. Preparing for the future, and taking action now by saving water, will only benefit us later.
So let’s take action. This month, CORE is encouraging Roaring Fork Valley residents to participate in the High Five movement by planting local species in yards and gardens. You can take that action a step further through xeriscaping: a type of landscaping that reduces water-use by 50-75%. Xeriscaping doesn’t mean ripping out all your grass, plants, and flowers to simply replace them with rocks. By using drought-resistant and native plants, you can transform your yard into a beautiful, water-conserving focal point of your home.
Taking on this task might seem a little overwhelming. Not to worry — we’ve got you covered. CORE is organizing two local “Xeriscape 101” workshops in the Roaring Fork Valley. The first will be held this Saturday, May 20, at the Basalt Library. The class will be led by Sheri Sanzone, founder of Bluegreen. A registered landscape architect in Colorado and Utah, national certified planner, and a LEED accredited professional, Sheri will bring her expertise and boil it down to simple concepts that can translate into your backyard. On Wednesday May 31, the series will travel down to the Carbondale Library where Heather Henry, founder of Connect One Designs, will add her spin to the topic. Heather has over fifteen years of landscape architecture and land planning experience. Both xeriscape workshops are free to the public and attendees will be entered in a chance to win a $50 gift card to a local nursery. The community classes are free and all are welcome. An RSVP by email is requested to reserve your spot.
More to come in this Backyard Water Conservation Workshop Series: “Rain Barrels 101: How to Use Local Water.” CORE is partnering with the Roaring Fork Conservancy to host a primer on water collection, which will include a take-home rain barrel for each participant. The event is scheduled for Monday, June 5, from 4 to 6pm, at Carbondale’s Third Street Center. Details for this space-limited class, including fee and registration, will be provided later this month.