Restoring Our Urban Spaces
Last year we started working with the Colorado Golf Association at CommonGround Golf Course to help improve wildlife habitat on the course. After conducting a floristic inventory in 2022, we decided to work on increasing native wildflowers in the mostly non-native grass rough areas. We chose to use equipment already being used at CommonGround for site maintenance. Using their equipment, they aerated a few plots and used a harrow to remove thatch. They then hand-seeded a mix of native wildflowers last December before the first snow.
Then the waiting began. Would any of the species we seeded germinate in the spring? After many months, we did find that a few of the species germinated in these areas. The biggest winner in this first year was Coreopsis tinctoria (plains coreopsis). All the plots that were aerated showed a good showing of this pollinator-loving yellow flower. In one of our three pilot plots, we also saw a good showing of Cleome serrulata (Rocky Mountain beeplant). We saw a few other native forbs that showed up in pretty good numbers as small germinants but never flowered this year. We are excited to continue this experiment and see which of these species survive the winter and show up in the plots again next season. We have lots of ideas of more ways we want to experiment using various disturbance methods and planting methods to continue to improve urban wildlife areas.
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