What are 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.
The following are City Greenways that are either entirely native or include zones of natural habitat within their boundaries:
- Dry Creek Greenway
- Left Hand Creek Greenway
- Oligarchy Greenway
- Rough and Ready Greenway
- Secondary greenways throughout the city
- Spring Gulch Greenway
- St. Vrain Greenway
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:
- Use of water-conserving and native grasses where adjacent to homes
- Use of native grasses along ditches or creeks
- Use of shrub and tree species that benefit wildlife for inherent shelter and forage qualities
- Wildlife buffers - offset from the riparian edge by a minimum 150’ (a standard outlined in the Wildlife Management Plan adopted by City Council in 2007)
It is the City's goal to maintain and enhance native habitats, conserve water and to enrich residents' enjoyment of district 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.
Maintenance Standards - Mowing
- View a brochure that outlines Longmont's Greenway Maintenance Practices
These are greenways with adjacent residential developments.
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.
These are greenways with no adjacent residential developments such as the St. Vrain Greenway.
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.
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
- Weed Control
- Weed control along greenways will be conducted on an as needed basis. Methods may include mowing, burning, hand pulling, cutting and/or herbicides.
- Residential Greenways, between houses and the trail - weather dependent, no more than 2x per week.
- All Other Areas - supplemental irrigation during the establishment of vegetation and to support plant health. The goal is to eliminate on-going irrigation.
- Trail Maintenance
- Sweep as needed dependent upon weather and usage
- Graffiti removal response within a 48 hour period
- Contact us to report graffiti on trails.
- Snow removal as needed on an event basis
- Trash Collection
- Trash to be removed as needed
- Pet Waste
- City will provide pet waste stations at appropriate intervals throughout the various greenways. It is hoped that waste bags will be provided by users on a voluntary basis and used bags disposed of properly.
- Tree and Shrub Maintenance
- Trees and shrubs will be maintained as needed to preserve plant health