Rain Keeping City Green, Saving City Green

By: Tim Ciesco Email
By: Tim Ciesco Email

Grand Junction Park officials say the recent rash of rain has not only kept the city looking green, but is helping it save a lot of green as well.

The National Weather Service says the Grand Valley has seen 1.6 inches of rain in May, about 3/4 of an inch above average.

While that hasn't been so good for filling the stands at JUCO this week, officials say it's been great for the city's parks.

"Oh my gosh, it's been a true blessing," said Mike Vendegna, Park Superintendent for the City of Grand Junction. "Rain is the best thing for plants."

And possibly the best thing for taxpayers' wallets. Officials say with all the rain we've had recently, they haven't had to turn on the city's 113 park irrigation systems for more than a week and a half.

"We're not having to water hundreds if not thousands of acres of turf grass," said Vendegna. "And that doesn't include the flowers and trees that we'd be putting extra water on."

Meaning massive savings when it comes to water --

"It would be in the millions of gallons, there's no question," said Vendegna.

-- and money.

"Surely it could be in the thousands because you figure watering 113 systems plus our city cemetery that's not on Maxicom," said Vendegna. "We're saving a tremendous amount."

The city parks and rec department says it already works aggressively to conserve water, using a high tech system called Maxicom, which monitors how much water each park has then calculates how much or how little it needs. But whenever Maxicom can have a day off -- or in this case a week and a half off -- officials say they'll take it.

"The rain water is better for the plants than the irrigation water," said Vendegna. "Utilize it."

And with more rain in the forecast for the near future, they say Maxicom's vacation will likely be extended.

"We're anticipating probably two weeks, easily," said Vendegna.

City officials say the rain is also a good opportunity for you to save money on your own lawn. They recommend turning off your sprinkler systems during rainy days.

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