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From useless bluegrass to prairie meadow

Denver is transforming four medians on Quebec Street from an expanse of water-intensive bluegrass to a water-wise landscape that showcases the natural beauty of Colorado's prairie. Photo credit: Denver Parks and Recreation.

Denver Parks and Recreation is excited to be starting a new project in partnership with Denver Water and the Colorado Water Conservation Board that will help adapt Denver and its parks to a warming, changing climate. 

This fall, the Quebec Median Project will begin transforming four medians on Quebec Street, between Smith Road and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, from an expanse of water-intensive, nonfunctional bluegrass into a more natural meadow landscape.

The 10 acres of grass on the medians currently require an estimated 9 million gallons of additional water for irrigation per year. The transformation project will convert existing bluegrass to a more natural prairie that represents traditional Colorado landscapes and supports pollinator species while enhancing the beauty of the space and saving more than 4 million gallons of water annually. 

Once the project is complete and the natural vegetation has two to three years to become established, mowing and maintenance requirements will also be significantly reduced. 

DPR has hired an ecological consultant team and landscape contractor to remove the bluegrass and establish the prairie seed, beginning this fall. 

The project is funded in partnership with DPR, Denver Water and the Colorado Water Conservation Board's Turf Removal Program, which uses state funds, as directed by a 2022 law (HB22-1511) passed in support of efforts to transform water-intensive turf into a more natural Colorado environment. 

Learn how to transform your own landscape at