Board Meetings are currently virtual meetings on the 3rd Monday of each month. Invites will be sent to owners 48-hours prior to the event.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Landscaping Tips

Give thirsty pollinators a drink without drowning them

One of the problems that traditional bird baths and outdoor water features have is that bees and other small pollinators try to perch on the sides, and lose their balance. Often their perch is slimy and they slip. Too often under these conditions, bees and other pollinators fall into the water and drown - an unnecessary and sad end for our pollinating friends.

Yet, it is easy to provide pollinators a drinking source in our yards. With a very few household materials and in less than five minutes, we can create an attractive "watering hole" for small pollinators.  These small creatures don't need wide expanses of water - but they do require a safe and non-slippery perch from which they can sip water and fly away when their thirst is quenched.

Here are the materials you will need:

  • A wide and shallow dish or other vessel that will hold water.  Because pollinators are small, short creatures, we want to avoid a deep container.  Even a glass pie plate works.
  • Small rocks or glass marbles to fill the bottom.
  • Flat stones or other objects that can be set amidst the marbles.  These stones will form a perch for the pollinators while they get a drink.
  • Clean water replaced often that sits slightly below the level of the perch.  Imagine you are Ms. Bumblebee and make the distance you need to lean into the water to get a drink user-friendly.

Placement: make the water feature obvious to pollinators who visit your garden by placing it near the flowering plants where they will be flying in search of nectar. 

Maintenance:  Add fresh water and clean out debris regularly.  Stagnant water can breed bacteria and mosquitoes, so keep the water feature clean and filled with fresh water.

Other pollinator-friendly tips:

  • Cater to the butterflies.  Strange as it sounds, those beautiful butterflies that flit around our gardens drink from muddy puddles.  To keep them happy, create some indentations in the soil and fill them with water.
  • Do you have a birdbath?  You can overcome the problem of a steep slope around the edge of the birdbath by adding flat rocks or even a brick that rests slightly above the water line.  The rock or brick provides a flat perch where bees and other small pollinators can drink without threat of drowning.
Do you have a water feature? Create easy access points along the water feature by placing flat stones in shallow areas at the edge where the water tends to pool and is not running fast.  A low, non-slippery perch at water's edge is all it takes to make your water feature pollinator-friendly.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Watering Tips

Are your sprinklers up to the challenge?

When temps hit the '90s, lawns start to stress. That is because most of our Colorado lawns are bluegrass, a cool season grass which doesn't much care for heat waves.

When we see lawns looking stressed - or even brown - it's tempting to set the sprinklers to run longer. Yet lack of water may not be what's causing those stressed areas and brown spots. If water from the sprinkler heads is not hitting the brown spots, then watering longer won't turn that spot green.

The underlying problems could be simple fixes to sprinkler system flaws you don't see because the system operates overnight. During a heat wave, the already stressed lawn will not be forgiving about any flaws in your system. On the other hand, making small repairs and adjustments this weekend could mean the difference between green grass and brown spots.

Here's what you can do:

  • Turn on the sprinkler system and watch every zone operate. Are the brown spots being watered?.
  • Next, notice if heads are sitting straight up and down in the lawn. If they are pointed down instead of out and across the lawn, for example, the water won't spray the whole area it's supposed to reach. Re-positioning the heads will get the water headed in the right direction
  • Is water hitting the sidewalk instead of the lawn? If so, the heads need to be adjusted so that the water is directed at the lawn. Sprinklers are mechanical devices - and like our cars, they need a little tinkering at times to be in good working order.
  • Next, look for clogged nozzles. If the head is not spraying evenly or as strongly as other heads are, that could be debris inside the nozzle. A little grit may be all that stands between a green lawn and a brown spot. A quick nozzle cleaning can keep your lawn green.

When you set watering times, do so based on the kind of sprinkler heads:

  • Pop-ups spray continuously in one area and should never run more than about 10 minutes at a time. If they spray longer, the water starts to run off because there is more water now than the soil can absorb.
  • Rotor heads - that go back and forth - need longer run times because they are moving across the yard. But they, too, can also create runoff if operated more than about 20 minutes - and that's water that doesn't stay on your lawn that you'll pay for.
If the lawn needs more water than one cycle can provide, add another watering time later so water has time to soak in between watering cycles. This cycle and soak method will prevent run-off and keep you from paying for water that literally goes down the drain.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Aurora City News

Hi Neighbors,

Attached and below are some events that may be of interest to you or your neighbors.  Please feel free to share.


The Regional Transportation District (RTD), Kiewit and the city of Aurora are hosting a public Open House event on Saturday, June 18th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the new Iliff Station Parking structure located at 13905 E Wesley Ave.

The event will feature activities for all ages including a mobile playground, trackless train rides, games, food trucks, vendor booths and more for the Aurora community.

Stop by to meet RTD, Kiewit and city of Aurora project team members, learn how to navigate light rail crossings and take the pledge to be safe around trains. A mock railroad crossing will be available for demonstrations.

It’s your chance to learn more about rail safety, fares and schedules, bikes and trails, transit-oriented development, parking and mobility at light rail stations, and more. Food and kid-friendly activities make it a perfect event for the whole family.

TheBigWonderful's Summer Solstice Party at Stanley Marketplace!!




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Friday, June 10, 2016

Landscaping Tip

Mulch is good for your landscape 

As the Front Range heads into the first heat wave of the season, we know our plants will be thirstier and of course, we'll be watering them more. When we crank up the water, we should also be thinking of ways to use LESS of that precious resource. Give the plants the water they need and don't waste a drop.

One way to save water and dress up the landscape in the process, is to top dress bed areas with mulch. And there is nothing better to use than fresh, 100% organic wood mulch. Many gardeners are moving away from rock dressings because of the difficulties of planting in it. Rock also holds heat and cold and does not work well for weed control without fabric underneath.

Why use organic mulch around your trees, shrubs and other plants? Here are five good reasons:

  • Seasonal mulching decreases evaporation rates from the soil by as much as 35 percent, which makes for efficient water use.
  • Mulching also suppresses weed growth. If there are fewer weeds in your yard, there are fewer plants competing with your landscape plants for nutrients and moisture. That's another water savings.
  • A healthy layer of mulch insulates plants and helps protect their roots from the extreme temperature shifts we experience in Colorado.
  • As mulch breaks down, it becomes nutritious organic matter, which promotes future healthy growth.
  • Like frosting on a cake, mulch creates an even appearance across the landscape and provides year-round color, texture and interest.

Tips about mulch:

  • Mulches recycled from local pruning debris can be put back into the landscape as a healthy amendment. Locally-sourced mulch is a sustainable option by supporting the local economy and lessening the carbon footprint.
  • Because it is derived from organic material, it settles onto the soil and does not blow away like mulch that has been recycled from treated wood products such as pallets. It must, however, first be watered in so that it settles.
Over time, organic mulch breaks down and completes the cycle of returning to the earth from which it came.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Intersection Improvement Notice



The City of Aurora has recently developed recommendations for operational improvements at the Parker Road and Smoky Hill intersections along Quincy Avenue. These recommendations are the result of a 10-month-long multimodal transportation study, which involved two levels of alternatives evaluation and coordination with public and agency stakeholders. The improvements are expected to reduce congestion and improve operations and safety in the study area.

The study recommendations will be displayed at an open house for public review on Thursday, June 23rd from 4:30 -6:30 PM at Shalom Park, 14800 E. Belleview Drive, Aurora. Community members are encouraged to attend to view displays and discuss their comments and questions with project team members. No formal presentation is planned.

Following this meeting, the recommendations will be finalized and the City of Aurora will pursue funding for improvements.

For more information or to submit a comment, visit the project web page:

Thank you,

Leah Langerman | Public Involvement Coordinator

David Evans and Associates, Inc.

1331 17th Street, Suite 900 | Denver, CO  80202 |
d: 720.225.4651 |

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Landscaping News

Happy Father's Day!

Summer is almost here and boy are we ready!  Longer, warmer days, what can be better than that?  Colorado is known for it's outdoor lifestyle, whether it be gardening, hiking, climbing a 14er, rafting or just laying around in a hammock or lawn chair, we know how to enjoy the outdoors! Time to break out the BBQ's, and have some summer fun.

We would like to wish all fathers a very happy Father's Day!

Thus far our spring has been mild in temperature and blessed with periodic moisture. These mild conditions have helped many trees produce abundant foliage. Abundant foliage may look pleasing, but can also offer an expansive pallet of food for many chronic insects like aphids, mites, and scales. The insects can have multiple generations in a single season, which offers them the ability to respond quickly when ample food is available.

Aphids will congregate where the feeding is easiest. This includes unopened flower buds, the underside of young leaves, and on developing stems. Feeding by aphids can sometimes discolor leaves, distort or curl foliage, and form galls. When large populations feed for an extended period of time, aphids can cause wilted leaves, stunted shoots or shoot dieback. As aphids feed, they inject saliva into their host plant which helps digest the sap. The pre-digested sap is sucked up by fine needle-like mouthparts of the aphid. A large portion of this undigested material is excreted through a waste product called honeydew. Honeydew is often described by our clients as “something dripping from my trees.” Several additional pests will seek out this sugar rich excretion. A few of these secondary pests include ants, yellow jackets, and a disease called Sooty Mold. Honeydew will coat bark, leaves, and objects beneath the plant, including car windshields and patio furniture, leaving a sticky mess.
Mites cause damage by sucking cell contents from leaves. A small number of mites usually isn’t reason for concern, but very high populations – levels high enough to show visible damage to leaves – can damage plants, especially herbaceous (not woody) ones. At first, the damage shows up as a stippling of light dots on the leaves; sometimes the leaves take on a bronze color. As feeding continues, the leaves turn yellowish or reddish and drop off. Often, large amounts of webbing cover leaves, twigs, and fruit. Damage is usually worse when compounded by water stress.

Our Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs are designed to preventatively and therapeutically control pests like aphids and mites in order to maintain a healthy landscape without the over use of pesticides.   

Weeds are the worst that he has ever seen them.

Is yours or your neighbor's yard turning yellow? Weeds have been out of control this season as the weather has created the perfect conditions for them to take hold. 
"Fairy rings" and Mushrooms are also presenting a problem this year.
Mushrooms are the above ground, reproductive structures, of some kinds of fungi. Other reproductive structures sometimes found in lawns include inky caps, puffballs, stinkhorns, and bird's nests. Many fungi do not produce visible fruiting structures, including those that cause many lawn diseases. Most mushroom-causing fungi in lawns however, are beneficial because they decompose organic matter, thereby releasing nutrients that are then available for plant growth.

Lawn mushrooms are simply the product of fungi in the soil. While there may be spores in many areas of the lawn, they will only grow where they find a suitable habitat. Because of this, one or more areas of your yard could have them, while other areas do not.
Lawn mushrooms feed off decaying matter such as: organic matter, dead tree stumps, old building material and the like. Because of this, mushrooms are often associated with a similar lawn problem called a Fairy Ring.

A fairy ring is a roughly circular area of brighter green grass with a dead or brown area just inside the otter green ring. This is caused by decaying organic matter under the soil. Mushrooms often appear along the leading edge of the fairy ring. Treatment for fairy ring is limited, but extra aeration along with the suggestions for mushroom control can limit the damage and spread the decay of the underlying problem

Limit Irrigation:
The vast majority of mushrooms are associated with wet soil and/or poor drainage. Once the soil dries, mushrooms tend to go away. out. In simple terms areas with heavy mushroom problems should be watered less.
Air circulation:
Aeration and, in extreme cases, thatch removal will help with air flow which will prevent mushroom growth in many areas. This will also strengthen the roots of gasses since they will be able to breath better.
Tip of the Month:
As you make decisions about planting this spring be sure to choose the best plant for the location. For example, roses like sunshine and some space to breathe. Don’t crowd roses or bury them in the shade. Conversely, hostas like shade and a little overhead protection from hail. Think about the future and what a plant will become when you decide where the best location may be.

Vole Damage is Rapidly Appearing

Now that temperatures are warming, the chewing and feeding done by voles this winter is showing up with a vengeance. Especially hard hit are areas of Monument and the Broadmoor. Many spreading and mounding junipers are yellowing and browning rapidly.
Quick facts on voles:

•  Often called meadow, field or pine mice.
•  8 different species in Colorado.
•  Voles are small mammals that cause damage by girdling evergreens and other trees and shrubs, and by
    constructing "runways" in lawns.
•  Voles are active day and night throughout the year and do not hibernate.
•  They usually live for 12 to 16 months and have 3 to 6 young per liter and 3 to 12 litters per year, breeding year   
•  Population fluctuations range from 15 to 500 voles per acre, with peaks every 3 to 5 years.
Vole damage in our landscapes occurs mostly during the winter, especially in areas adjacent to or near open fields. Voles move through grass runways under the snow where they are unseen by predators. The greatest damage coincides with years of heavy snowfall and in areas where the snow is piled and slow to melt.

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