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Greenway, District Park & Open Space Maintenance Practices

updated 01-27-14

What are District Parks and Greenways?

The Longmont Area Comprehensive Plan defines Greenways as linear corridors that permit public access. The purposes of greenways (also known as Primary Greenways) are to accommodate trail-oriented recreation, provide for wildlife movement through urban areas, connect residential areas to the bikeway network, and provide for the storm drainage system and its maintenance. These greenways, in combination with the street bikeway system, connect the City’s parks, schools, neighborhoods and other community facilities as part of the city-wide, multi-model transportation plan.

District Parks and Open Space properties are places of special interest and uses that are different from either Neighborhood or Community Parks.  These parks focus on natural areas or special features that provide low impact, passive recreation opportunities. These opportunities may include trails, boat ramps, watchable wildlife areas, fishing, picnic areas / shelters, parking lots and restrooms. 

The following are District Parks or Open Space properties that are either entirely native or include zones of natural habitat within their boundaries:

St. Vrain Greenway

Left Hand Creek Greenway

McIntosh Lake

Rogers Grove

Oligarchy Greenway

Rough & Ready Greenway

Spring Gulch Greenway

Dry Creek Greenway

Golden Ponds

Izaak Walton Ponds

Jim Hamm Pond

Sandstone Ranch District Park

Dickens Farm

Secondary Greenways throughout the City

A Modern Approach to Design and Maintenance

For Optimal Sustainability

Development standards for greenways have evolved over the past 15 years from bluegrass lawn-intensive recreational corridors to areas that now include native and wildlife supportive plant materials. Changes to greenway development standards have included:

It is the City's goal to maintain and enhance native habitats, conserve water and to enrich residents' enjoyment of the district parks and greenways. The design and maintenance of these areas will predominantly focus on habitat enhancement by increasing cover, removing non-native plants, noxious weeds and managing wildlife, while maintaining access trails for people, as appropriate.

What are the benefits?

In addition to providing for the needs of wildlife, the City also reduces water use, lessens operating costs for mowing and improves the environment by reducing weeds and filtering storm water. These modifications are also supported by the City’s Raw Water Master Plan as well and the City’s Water Supply and Drought Management Plan (PDF).

Maintenance Standards - Mowing

Residential Greenways

These are greenways with adjacent residential developments.

residential greenway path

diagram displaying residential greenway area types

Area U1 – between the trail and the edge of residential development:
These areas are regularly irrigated, higher use areas that are mowed every one to two weeks.

Area U2 – adjacent to both sides of the waterway:
One swath will be mowed every one to two weeks adjacent to the trail. The remaining grasses will be allowed to grow to mature heights, and are not intended to be mowed. Irrigated only for plant establishment and to support plant health.

Area U3 – adjacent to residential development on the side of the waterway without a trail:
These areas, where accessible, will be mowed between 6 to 12 feet immediately adjacent to the edge of the residential development, as needed dependent upon rate of grass growth. Typically, only
irrigated for plant establishment and to support plant health.

Non-residential Greenways

These are greenways with no adjacent residential developments such as the St. Vrain Greenway.

non-residential greenway path

diagram of mowing areas non-residential

How we maintain these areas:
Grasses will be allowed to grow to mature heights and are not intended to be mowed: When deemed necessary for trail maintenance, weed control or safety needs, grasses will be mowed to an appropriate height and a maximum width of six feet from either edge of the trail.

No-Mow Sites:
These are areas where grasses are not mowed except for prescribed weed control. Such sites are located:
• In open areas and waterways away from trails that are meant to serve as habitat for wildlife
• Along soft surface trails wider than two feet or any dirt trails
• Areas identified for the purpose of resource protection

Maintenance Procedures


Download a copy of our brochure that outlines Longmont's Greenway, District Park and Open Space Maintenance Practices (PDF)