Centerra Metro District Celebrates Earth Day with Sustainable Initiatives
Through partnerships with other regional entities, Centerra Metro District is making an environmental impact by investing resources to reduce water use and promote native plants as part of the landscaping.“The landscaping work being done in the Centerra Metro District now undoubtedly impacts the future of the region,” said David Crowder, vice president of community development and general manager of Centerra. “Choosing drought-resistant, low-water-use landscaping allows us to minimize water use, save money, and create beautiful places. It’s a win-win-win.”
More About the Water Conservation & Sustainability Initiative
In partnership with the High Plains Environmental Center and the Centerra development, Centerra Metro District has established the Water Conservation and Sustainability Initiative to lead five projects that directly promote water conservation and environmental leadership in the region. The end goal is to ensure that future construction projects in the community utilize regionally appropriate landscape materials, including native plants adapted to Colorado’s climate and high altitude, ultimately requiring less water and helping to conserve resources and save taxpayers money.
Project 1: The Water Wise Landscaping Program
The Centerra Metro District is currently researching and testing which native plants grow best without additional water use. Once the best species are determined, the Centerra Design Guidelines and Design Review Committee will require all construction projects to utilize regionally appropriate landscape materials, including native plants adapted to Colorado’s climate and high altitude, requiring less water. An emphasis will be placed on minimizing the use of manicured turf grass areas.
Project 2: HPEC Nursery
The HPEC nursery serves as a source of plant production, a gathering place for residents, and a hands-on learning experience for people of all ages. This community resource allows students to engage with professionals in horticulture, agriculture, biology, and many more environment-focused professions.
Project 3: Roadway Test Plots
New test plots have been implemented along roadway curbs to study which types of grasses can withstand the over-splash of the de-icer and salt treatments used during winter snow plowing as well as the rate of establishment from seeding and other planting methods.
Project 4: Landscape Construction Specifications
The Centerra Metro District will incorporate detailed installation requirements for all landscape projects. The specifications are based on more than 20 years of experience managing landscapes in the community. They will include, among other elements, a list of approved plant species, soil amendments and management program, criteria for computer-controlled irrigation systems, and involvement of HPEC during the construction process.
Project 5: Raw Water Dedication/Payment and Timing of Payment
The District is leading efforts to bring together development and business partners to influence changes in municipal codes. The shift aims to influence conservation and modify the timing of water fee payments. The intention is to promote cost savings on new homes, which would result in more attainable home prices and reduce barriers to entry by smaller homebuilders that have been shut out of larger projects due to the prohibitive water dedication policy.
Alternative Energy and Transportation
Also, Centerra Metro District is committed to sustainable travel initiatives. In 2020, the Metro District, in partnership with the Colorado Energy Office’s Charge Ahead Colorado Grant Program, installed three Level II Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) charging stations that can simultaneously serve six electric vehicles. Located outside of Nutrien, off Rocky Mountain Ave, the location of these charging stations has proximity to the I-25 corridor in Loveland and is close to regional trail access. The District offered charging at no cost for the first year and now charges the market rate for users.Additionally, a large part of the I-25 expansion project includes the new Mobility Hub, located within the Centerra Metro District. This travel hub consists of a park-and-ride site for commuters and a center-lane bus stop with a pedestrian underpass. In addition to providing a much-needed transportation solution, this effort helps reduce environmental impacts and emissions. The Centerra Metro District has provided $2million of funding for this project.