Our downtown native landscapes serve many functions: to absorb and purify water, stormwater managements, water conservation, beautification, and inspiration. Enjoy these Nebraska native plants from the Guadalupe Center’s pollinator garden.
Friday, June 8, 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM City of Gering’s Nebraska Statewide Arboretum site tour. Meet at Gering City Plaza, 11th Avenue and N Street. Tour stops: Plaza Project, Monument Heights Island, Legacy of the Plains. Public invited to attend
Friday, June 8, Noon – 1:30 “Imagine the Possibilities” Green
Team Luncheon. Past and present Green Team or Greener Nebraska Towns team members are invited to brainstorm future public/private partnership projects and resources in the tri-city area. Please RSVP to 630-8011 before Wednesday, June 6 if you plan to attend
Friday, June 8, 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM City of Scottsbluff Downtown Project Tour. Meet at the Downtown Plaza. Tour stops: Bulb-outs, parking lot rain gardens, Wellhouse 3, Guadalupe Center. Public invited to attend.
Friday, June 8, 4:30 PM – 6:30 PM Panhandle Planning Team BBQ @ Peaceful Prairie. Panhandle Wildflower Week Planning Team to meet at Peaceful Prairie
Friday, June 8, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM Twilight Wildflower Hike at Wildcat Hills with Amanda Filipi. Meet at Wildcat Hills Nature Center. Public invited to attend.
Saturday, June 9, 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM Demonstration planting at Nebraska Pioneer Stadium. Please call 436-3307 if interested in volunteering.
2018 Wildflower Week Events in Western Nebraska
June 2 near Lewellen. Wildflower Talk and Walk at Ash Hollow State Historical Park at 9am. Meet at the Visitor Center and dress for walking through tallgrass prairie. 308-778-5651, email@example.com
June 3 near Harrison. “Wildflowers 101” talk and walk with a ranger through lowlands, prairie and rocky uplands to see a variety of wildflowers 2-4pm at Agate Fossil Beds National Monument visitor center, 301 River Rd. Trails are open dawn to dusk. firstname.lastname@example.org, 308-665-4110
June 7 in Chadron. Western Nebraska Landscape: planting project, water use tour and wildflower presentation. Meet at 9am at Chadron State College Range Land Lab, wear gardening togs and sunscreen; ends at noon. email@example.com
June 8 near Gering. “Wildflower Walk in the Wildcats” 7pm at the Wildcat Hills Nature Center, 210615 Hwy 71, Gering NE 69341. firstname.lastname@example.org , 308-436-3777
June 8 in Gering. Tour of municipal landscapes 10-11:30am starting from Gering City Plaza, 11th Street and N St. 308-436-6834, email@example.com
June 8 in Scottsbluff. “Imagine the Possibilities” brainstorming session with past and present Green Team or Greener Nebraska Town members from 12-1:30pm at Monument Shadows Grill. Please RSVP by June 6. 308-630-8011, firstname.lastname@example.org
June 8 in Scottsbluff. Tour of downtown landscapes from 2-3pm starting from 19th & Broadway. 308-630-8011, email@example.com
June 10 near Harrison. “Wildflowers 101” talk and walk with a ranger through lowlands, prairie and rocky uplands to see a variety of wildflowers 2-4pm at Agate Fossil Beds National Monument visitor center, 301 River Rd. Trails are open dawn to dusk. firstname.lastname@example.org, 308-665-4110
June 14 in Ogallala. During the Summer Concert Series, the 2nd street bump-outs with wildflower planters between Spruce and East A will be highlighted; concerts are in Rendezvous Square on East 2nd.
1. Mulch to retain soil moisture and control weeds.
2. Plant native and/or drought-tolerant grasses, ground covers, shrubs and trees. Once established, they do not need to be watered as frequently and they usually will survive a dry period without any watering.
3. Group plans together based on similar water needs.
4. Choose the right water system for the job. Drip irrigation and soaker hoses work well in plant beds, while sprinklers work better on the lawn.
Photo © Creative Commons Zero (CC0)
Here are 10 top ways to save water in the New Year.
1. KNOW WHERE YOUR WATER IS WASTED
Scottsbluff pumps 6.6 million gallons a day in the heat of the summer and 2.8 million gallons a day the coldest month. The majority of the difference is for lawn irrigation. Limit outdoor w
ater waste with drought tolerant turf, xeriscaping, rain gardens and other sustainable landscape options.
2. UPGRADE YOUR APPLIANCES & FIXTURES
Choose a WaterSense labeled high-efficiency clothes washers, toilets, and showerheads to save more than 20% from conventional appliances.
3. WATER LESS
Water at dawn while cool and calm, to reduce evaporation. Water in short bursts, instead of a long soak, for better soil infiltration.
4. SHORTEN YOUR SHOWERS
Even a one- or two-minute reduction can save up to 700 gallons per month, for a family of four. Save up to 200 to 300 gallons per month by using a bucket or to capture what is waste while waiting for the shower or sink water to warm up, and use it on house-plants or in your garden.
5. SWEEP, DON’T HOSE
Save 150 gallons or more by sweeping instead of hosing driveways and sidewalks. Don’t run the hose while washing your car on the lawn. Instead, use a bucket of water and a quick hose rinse which saves 150 gallons each time and gives the lawn a water boost.
6. WATER THE GREEN, NOT THE GUTTER
Adjust sprinklers so that water lands on the lawn or garden – and only there. That can save 500 gallons per month. Check for broken or clogged sprinkler heads. Also, ensure that drip system nozzles and emitters are directed toward your plants and not at a sidewalk or driveway.
7. PLANT A NATIVE GARDEN
Native gardens require less maintenance, don’t need chemical fertilizers and attract butterflies and hummingbirds! Panhandle friendly plants can reduce a home’s water consumption by 60 percent.
8. DON’T WASTE THE RAIN
Capture rain runoff in a rain barrel to water the garden or design a swale to slow, spread, and sink rainwater into the soil. That way you’ll need to irrigate less and can conserve more.
9. DON’T WATER WHEN IT RAINS
It seems obvious, but don’t water during downpours or in the hours after a storm. Rain or soil moisture sensors can determine if and how long to water. Both devices can stand-alone or added on to existing controllers. They can reduce outdoor water use by up to 70 percent without sacrificing the quality or health of your landscape.
10. LOCATE THE LEAKS
A minor leak can waste 20 gallons a day and a leaky toilet wastes up to 200 gallons of water per day. Don’t let minor water leaks in your home go unfixed. Check for and repair leaks in all toilets, faucets and showerheads.
It’s nearly July and the gardens are green and full of early summer blossoms – using just rainwater.
Late last week the City of Scottsbluff finally turned the water on the downtown gardens, about three months after lawn watering began around the city. Native and well adapted plants use much less water than traditional turf once established. They’re also drought hardy, provide needed habitat for pollinators and create a distinct sense of place with a plant palate tailored for the Nebraska Panhandle.
Wildflowers endure through hard times, lending their beauty and brightness even to landscapes rarely seen by human eyes. Their flowers and seeds feed birds, butterflies and other pollinators and wildlife; their roots loosen and improve soil; they thrive without care in places other plants could never survive; and they lend fragrance and beauty to wild places all across the state, making us want to take a closer look at places we would otherwise ignore.
Updates on events can be found at http://plantnebraska.org/wildflower .
Wildflower Week Events in Western Nebraska
June 8 in Scottsbluff. “It’s a Green Thing,” 4-9pm Parking Lot Party at the Guadalupe Center, 1200 E 9th St. Plant Sale and activity booths 4-9pm include: 4:30-5:30pm planting demonstration and rain garden/pollinator project overview; goldenrod and pollinator presentations at 6 and 7pm. 308-630-8011, email@example.com
June 9 in Gering. “High Plains Prairie Garden Planting Project” 9-10am at Legacy of the Plains Museum, 2930 Old Oregon Trail. Downtown Plaza Tour 11-noon meeting at 18th St. Plaza. 308-633-1173, firstname.lastname@example.org
June 9 near Crawford. Fort Robinson Wildflower Hike 5-7pm; meet at Crawford Community Building to carpool. 402-580-1293; email@example.com.
June 10 at Chadron State College. Landscape Tour and Pollinator Garden Planting 9-noon. Meet in parking lot along 10th St. frontage near High Rise Dorm. 308-432-6401, firstname.lastname@example.org
June 10 near Gering. “Wildflower Walk” 9-11am at the Wildcat Hills Nature Center, 210615 Hwy 71. Walk will focus on wildflowers and ways to identify them. Bring water and hiking shoes for the 1-mile hike. FREE with 2017 Nebraska State Park Permit. email@example.com, 308-436-3777, http://outdoornebraska.gov/wildcathillsnaturecenter/
June 11 near Harrison. “Wildflowers 101” talk and walk with a ranger through lowlands, prairie and rocky uplands to see a variety of wildflowers starting at 2pm at Agate Fossil Beds National Monument visitor center, 301 River Rd. Trails are open dawn to dusk. firstname.lastname@example.org, 308-668-2211, https://www.nps.gov/agfo/planyourvisit/calendar.htm
Rain gardens capture and infiltrate runoff from roofs, driveways, and other impervious surfaces. Rain gardens not only recharge groundwater supplies, but also clean out pollutants, create pollinator habitat, increase property value, and provide year round visual interest for your home.
Check out this interactive rain garden animation from UNL extension.
2016 Wildflower Week is Friday, June 3 – Sunday, June 12
Nebraska Statewide Arboretum serves as coordinator for statewide Wildflower Week activities, bringing together organizations and individuals across the state who recognize the value of wildflowers—not only for their beauty but also for what they imply and symbolize. For more events statewide: http://arboretum.unl.edu/wildflower-week
Thursday, June 2nd
- 10:00 AM –Noon Great Plants Planting – 2975 Country Club Road, Gering
- 1:00-3:00 PM: Legacy of the Plains – Plant ID Presentation
- Sandra Reddish, Executive Director for Legacy of the Plains
- Sandra Reddish, Executive Director for Legacy of the Plains
5:00 -7:00 PM Charlie Fenster Memorial Tree Planting – East end of Northfield ArboretumPostponed until Fall (as of 5/20/2016)
Friday, June 3rd
- 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM Downtown Arboretum Tour, Public Invited. Meet at Lot 3, Across from West Nebraska Arts Center
- 11:00 – Noon @ Godfathers The Garden Coffee Break – with Bob Henrickson and Justin Evertson, Nebraska Statewide Arboretum
- Please arrive a few minutes early to get your buffet meal and proceed to the meeting room
- 30 minute NSA presentation
- 30 minute tour of Well House
- Aulick’s TLC
- 3:00-4:00 pm –Aulick’s TLC Great Plants for the Great Plains Planting Demonstration – a discussion of plant choices and placement to help add western beauty to the home landscape. Outdoor activity.
- 4:00-5:00 pm: Landscape and Garden Plants for Pollinators and Beneficial Insects: Walk the greenhouse to learn how different plants attract pollinators and other beneficial insects.
- 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM Wildcat Wildflower Nature Hike with possible Shooting Range Plant Demo
- Amanda Filipi
- (308) 436-3777
- Amanda Filipi
Saturday, June 4th
- 9:00 AM – Noon Chadron State College planting project, 1000 Main Street. Contact: Lucinda Mays at email@example.com
- 1-2pm campus tour, 1000 Main Street. firstname.lastname@example.org
· Mapping Out the Garden with Anita Gall , Anita’s Greenscaping*
Date: March 18, 2016 Time: 11:00 AM—Noon
Location: Café de Paris, 15 West 16th Street Phone: 308-633-2529
Garden: Lots 1 & 10, Avenue A between 16th and 17th Streets
· Arbor Day with Amy Seiler, Nebraska Forest Service*
Date: April 15, 2016 Time: 11:00 AM—Noon
Location: Cappuccino & Company, 1703 Broadway Phone: 308-635-9997
Garden: Lots 8 & 16, Avenue A and 17th Street
· Phytoremediation with Leann Sato, Scottsbluff Stormwater Program Specialist*
Date: May 20, 2016 Time: 11:00 AM—Noon
Location: The Emporium Phone: 632-6222
Garden: Lot 3, 18th Street & 1st Avenue and Lot 4, 17th Street & 1st Avenue
· Great Plants Showcase with Bob Henrickson, Nebraska Statewide Arboretum
Date: June 3, 2016 Time: 11:00 AM—Noon
Location: Godfather’s Pizza, 2207 Broadway, Phone: 308-632-3644
Garden: Wellhouse #3, Broadway and 23rd Street
· Beneficial Insect Environments with Jeff Bradshaw, UNL Extension*
Date: July 29 , 2016 Time: 11:00 AM—Noon
Location: Cappuccino & Company, 1703 Broadway Phone: 308-635-9997
Garden: Midwest, PSB, East Overland Entryway (Diverse flowers – new and established)
· Watering a Low-Water Use Landscape with Jim Schild, Associate Director, UNL Extension
Date: August 19, 2016 Time: 11:00 AM—Noon
Location: The Shed, 18 East 16th Street Phone: 635-6555
Garden: Library Bioswale, 1908 3rd Avenue
· Landscaping LID Style with Al Herbel, LEED AP and Lois Herbel, Nebraska Department of Education
Date: September 16, 2016 Time: 11:00 AM—Noon
Location: Runza, 1823 Broadway Phone: 631-0397
Garden: Library Bioswale, 1809 3rd Avenue
· Gardens Through the Lens with Gary Stone, UNL Extension*
Date: October 21, 2016 Time: 11:00 AM—Noon
Location: Sam & Louie’s, 1522 Broadway Phone: 308-633-2345
Garden: Library Bioswale, via West Nebraska Art Center , Lot 12
The following is Part III of a three part series focusing on the City of Scottsbluff’s 319 grant projects. These projects are designed to reduce impervious cover in parking lots, filtering and infiltrating stormwater runoff. This article will go over project successes. For an overview of the projects, see Part I. For project challenges and lessons learned, see Part II.
In the last article, we went over the challenges of landscaping a hot, harsh urban environment. Now that we have gone over the difficulties of these projects, we are going to outline some of the practices we used that worked well. The following is a list of some of the techniques that were effective and that we will be using in the future:
- Plant Selection- Thanks to the help of the Nebraska Forest Service and the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum, we were able to use a very carefully chosen plant list. This plant list included several tried and true plants for our area, such as catmint, yarrow, jupiter’s beard, butterfly milkweed, and asters, as well as some lesser-known selections, such as thelosperma and plumbago. We will be monitoring these landscapes to see which of these plants do well over time, helping to expand our palette of plants we know to be successful in this area.
- Sedges- While this also refers to plant selection, the unique functionality of our sedges merits them their own bullet point. Because the projects are designed to capture stormwater, and because the soils were in such poor condition when we started our projects, we had several areas that were poorly drained. These were the areas where we planted sedges, some of them which were literally planted in standing water. These sedges have thrived, looking very attractive while serving the very important function of cleaning and filtering stormwater before it reaches the storm drain or is infiltrated into the ground. There are very few plants that do well when exposed to extended periods of standing water; we have had great success with using sedges in these difficult areas.
- Beehive Storm Grate- The previous storm drain was a typical rectangle grate that was flush with the ground. We talked about some of the challenges of mulch in our previous article; one of the other challenges is that it can plug a storm drain. The storm drain we chose for the overflow of our retention area, shown below, is designed to keep from plugging when the water gets deeper and mulch starts floating. After experiencing a few strong thunderstorms, it appears that this design has been very effective at keeping the storm drain open to receive overflowing stormwater runoff.
- Strategic Placement of Hardscape- We allowed several areas throughout the landscape for people to pass through as they were leaving their vehicles. This seems to have cut down on the amount of foot traffic we receive in the landscape itself. Additionally, in an area that was constantly being driven over, we strategically placed a boulder. This not only has aesthetic value, it has completely stopped vehicles from driving over this part of the landscape.
At this time, those are the most noticeable successes that we have seen. We are hoping that over time, using large landscape beds with adequate soil rooting volume for trees will help the trees to be more successful long-term; however, it will be several years before we know for sure if it is a success. We are also hoping to turn off the drip irrigation systems in the future. During their first summer, though, we will be leaving the irrigation on to help the plants establish their root systems. We may have to continue irrigating during extended dry periods. We will also be observing our plants over time to see how they do- watch for future articles outlining specific plant selections that have done well. All in all, perhaps the greatest success has been being able to remove over 9,500 square feet of concrete from our parking lots and replace it with a beautiful, functional landscape that will have great environmental benefits for years to come.