Welcome, Sunshine Park – the 2nd Plant Select HOA Demonstration Garden!

August 4th, 2020

Located between the Jim Hamm Nature Preserve and Union Reservoir in Longmont, CO, is Sunshine Park, a new pollinator habitat colorful with Plant Select plants! Residents of the Shadow Grass Park HOA saw an opportunity to transform 4,200 SF of weedy park space into a beautiful water-wise garden that invites neighborhood participation. HOA residents have donated their time and funds in many ways to create the garden. HOA members created the Friends of Pollinator Habitat Committee to oversee fundraising, educational activities, and future improvements for the garden. Education within the garden is a required component to become a Plant Select Demonstration Garden, and community participation is welcome on many levels. At Sunshine Park, residents can help grow the garden by dedicating plants in their name and caring for them. Volunteers built an arbor, a learning box containing laminated field guides and magnifying glasses, and constructed a sizeable solitary bee house and have had bee release events. The garden provides a community connection and offers a growing understanding of pollinator habitat and water-wise gardening. Plants are labeled, and visitors are encouraged to deposit weeds they spot in a designated garden pot. It’s a community effort that all can enjoy!

Shadow Grass Park Residents hope Sunshine Park’s success will have a ripple effect throughout other spaces in the HOA. Laura Pechaitis serves as the primary contact for the garden but doesn’t take all the credit, stating, “This year we will be adding more perennials, woody plants, trees, and grasses to our habitat using our design plan as a guide. We also will use what we are learning in our pollinator habitat to change the way we do landscaping throughout our HOA. Reducing the use of pesticides, using more pollinator-friendly plants that are drought-tolerant, reducing water consumption, and converting certain turf areas to native grass.”

Plant Select is happy to welcome Sunshine Park as the second Plant Select HOA Demonstration Garden in the program! Cherry Creek 3 HOA of Denver, CO, became the first Plant Select HOA Demonstration Garden in 2018 and now spokesperson, Don Ireland, provides outreach to help other HOAs navigate their landscape transformations. Plant Select recognizes these HOAs are trendsetters paving the way for other HOAs to convert their landscape spaces in step! Steppe region, that is! The climate we live in Colorado, where the plains meet the mountains with wild temperature swings, low precipitation, high evapotranspiration, and beaming sunlight!

Find Sunshine Park at 1812 Celestial Lane in Longmont, CO, by car or bicycle- it connects to the City of Longmont’s Spring Gulch #2 bikeway /trail way system! Send your HOA inquiries to Director@PlantSelect.org and get growing on your HOA project! Plant Select is happy to help HOAs learn how to transform waterlogged turf grass into buzzing, beneficial, water-wise landscapes that save money, increase property value, and help build community.

Written by Emily Goldman for Plant Select