The horticulture workgroup of the Parks and Recreation Department manages more than 200 landscape flower and shrub beds and assists with noxious weed management in city parks throughout Boulder.
Horticulturalists design and plant annual flowers on the Pearl Street Mall, the Civic Area in downtown Boulder, and in most city parks.
The horticulture workgroup is committed to providing beautiful, year-round flower and shrub displays that reflect the community’s ideals of environmentally sustainable, low-water, bio-diverse plantings that support pollinators. This means that all of the plant material that is used in the parks is not treated with neonicotinoid pesticides and is bee (or pollinator) safe!
Well-maintained, beautiful parks are proven to contribute economically to a community through increase in housing values, improved air quality, and increased mental well-being.
The Parks and Recreation Department has developed several programs to promote the beautification of Boulder’s parks and horticulture education through the Adopt-a-Flowerbed Program and the Garden-In-A-Box Demonstration Program.
The Adopt-a-Flowerbed Program enlists volunteers from organizations and neighbors who live near a park to donate plants and their time throughout the summer to plant and/or maintain a park flower bed. There are 25 beds currently adopted through this program and several up for adoption, including our new bee friendly polinator garden at Parkside Park.
The Garden-In-A-Box Demonstration Program was created through a cooperative effort with the Parks and Recreation Department, the Center for ReSource Conservation, and the City of Boulder Water Conservation Office. The goal of the program is to promote low-water, beautiful, easy to plant gardens to home-owners. The Parks and Recreation Department currently has four Garden-In-A-Box gardens.
Park horticulturists use a mix of annuals, perennials, ornamental grasses and shrub plantings in park flower beds. Water-wise annuals that will be planted include petunia, marigold, alyssum, zinnia. Each planting bed is evaluated to identify soil type, method of irrigation, sun and wind exposure and location to determine what type of plants will be planted at each site.
Integrated Pest management (IPM) focuses on long-term prevention or suppression of pest problems while minimizing the impact on human health, the environment and non target organisms. The horticulture team utilizes cultural and mechanical pest control almost entirely to maintain the health of the plant material in the parks.
The plant material used in the parks is 100 percent neonictinoid-free and pollinator friendly.