OCC greens up... with 10,000 square feet of sod

       If Old Colorado City seems a little greener, the difference might be 10,000 square feet of sod.
       That's how much new grass was placed in August in various open areas along Colorado Avenue sidewalks between 24th and 27th streets. The areas had been just as grassy at one time before, but steady usage in recent years had worn most of that away.

Dave Porter, maintenance worker for the Old Colorado Security & Maintenance District, mows new sod in the 2500 block of West Colorado Avenue.
Westside Pioneer photo

       “Having greenery is better than dust and dirt,” commented Jim Heikes, president of the Old Colorado City Security & Mainte-nance District Advisory Committee, which organized the project and funded about 80 percent of the cost ($2,500 for sod and $300 for sprinkler-system repairs). District funds come from a special property tax assessed on land owners within Old Colorado City.
       Contributing the other 20 percent was the Old Colorado City Associates (OCCA) business group. The financial agreement was worked out on the understanding that Territory Days, the three-day regional festival that the OCCA organizes annually, puts extra wear and tear on Old Town landscaping. “It [the new sod] has certainly improved the looks of the district,” said Nelson Roseland, the OCCA president. “We're happy to participate. It makes it far more inviting than it was.”
       The actual planting was accomplished by district maintenance employee Dave Porter (who technically works for City Parks), with help from a summer hourly worker. These costs were absorbed by the district as part of ongoing labor expenses, City Parks liaison Danny Gieck explained.
       In past summers, the district would typically use grass seed on bare areas, which costs less. But a walk-through this summer by committee members and City Parks liaison Danny Gieck determined that pricier - but more permanent - measures were called for.
       They also agreed that a topography do-over was in order. Under a years-old landscaping design, most of the grassy areas were shaped in mounds. But with time and public use, some of the mounds built up, and irrigation water ran off the sides. So part of the recent sod-laying effort involved lowering the mounds. “Now we have a little bit more manageable slope, and it helps with our efficiency on watering,” Gieck said.
       The approximate square-footage sod breakdown is as follows: 2,250 in the 2400 block, 2,250 in the 2500 block and 5,300 in the 2600 block. The latter segment has more grass because it is “a lot more flat and linear,” Gieck explained.
       More work is planned. In a few places where grass used to be, prominent tree roots made new sod impractical. In those areas, the committee is now looking at small, landscaped, “decorative” retaining walls, Gieck said. Also, to prevent the new sod from wearing out in places where pedestrians typically take shortcuts from the sidewalks, the committee plans to surround them with wrought-iron fence, three to four feet high.

Westside Pioneer article