Utility company work inspires an award just for them Email
Wednesday, July 13, 2016 04:00 AM

CSU water wise gardenEach year, The ELITE Awards recognize a project that demonstrates the value and rewards of applying sustainable landscape principles to a design/build or installation project. For 2016, ALCC created a subcategory of the sustainability award to recognize a unique finalist that fits into a category all its own.

A Sustainability Award for Public Education was given to Colorado Springs Utilities for their Water Wise Neighborhood Project. The goal of the Colorado Springs Utilities Xeriscape Demonstration Garden is to showcase beautiful, functional, water-wise landscaping.

Visitors to the demonstration garden praised the plant collection but often complained that they still didn’t know how to apply the designs to their own yard. To fill a need, the Water Wise Neighborhood Project is an expansion of an existing garden that includes five water-wise front yards:

  1. low maintenance landscape
  2. prairie landscape
  3. budget-friendly landscape
  4. contemporary design
  5. deer resistant/fire wise planting

Each yard has a low-water lawn and complementary planting of shrubs, perennials and groundcovers.

Customers can stroll among the five house structures and easily figure out how to use the designs, plants and irrigation practices in their own yards. Judges were impressed with the focus on consumer education and recognized that the work from this project can go a long way to supporting the efforts of future ALCC member projects.

By helping consumers appreciate and understand the many benefits and the beauty of sustainable landscaping, this utility is certainly elevating the landscape industry—through excellence and through education.

The ELITE Award for Sustainability in Public Education was accepted by Catherine Moravec, Lisa Pace, and Ann Seymour of Colorado Springs Utilities at the March 16 ELITE Awards ceremony.


Read more in this issue of Colorado Green NOW:
Help customers save water and money with Smart Irrigation Month
Bronk recognized with lifetime achievement award
Better by nature: Certification strengthens Changing Landscapes
Q&A about the new federal overtime rule