| Project Descriptor||Associated Information|
| Project Period|| Summer 2012 to Spring 2013|
| Project Funding|| HOA budget|
| Project Background|| |
During the spring of 2013, the Weatherstone Homeowners Association refreshed a number of landscaped beds in the neighborhood. These included areas around the pool parking lot and along the Weathersfield Way and Stone Mountain Drive streetscapes. Landscaping in these areas was 10 to 15 years old. Some plants had died and others had suffered from disease and multiple droughts, requiring removal and replacement.
A committee of residents with gardening and landscaping experience volunteered to help select replacement plants and manage a transparent, competitive bid process. The group researched and chose low-maintenance plants for their ability to survive temperature extremes, arid conditions and poor soil, yet provide pleasing color to the neighborhood.
| Project Activities|
In April and May, Arapahoe Landscapes, the winning bidder, installed new trees, shrubs and perennial flowers in the pool and streetscape beds at a cost of $20,000. Another $30,000 will be needed to complete landscaping around the pool and the picnic area and fill in remaining blank spaces along the two streetscapes. This amount has not yet been appropriated by the HOA Board.
| Project Volunteers||Multiple community volunteers were involved.|
All are experienced gardeners. Randy formerly owned a landscape contracting firm. This group of volunteers collaborated over a period of several months to develop solutions and a plan.
| Project Timeline|
After the Stone Mountain and Weathersfield Way entrances were redone last year, several residents expressed concern to the Weatherstone HOA Board of Directors that landscape replacement across the neighborhood had not kept up with losses over the past 10-15 years and a "refresh" was needed. Over time, a number of perennials, shrubs, and trees in Weatherstone have died, been broken by storms, or become diseased and have not been replaced. Drought and heat stress last year were a big factor, but some landscaping materials were stolen early in the neighborhood's history.
At the board's request, Jeff Evans sent an email blast to all Weatherstone residents asking for resident involvement in assessing landscaping needs and recommending a course of action to the board.
To ensure a highly transparent and accountable bidding process, we created a bid form structured by area (pool and environs, Stone Mountain Drive streetscape, and Weathersfield Way streetscape) to make all bids received comparable area-to-area. This way, we could clearly see how much the work on each portion of the neighborhood common areas would cost so we could manage budget more easily.
September 18, 2012
The landscape group walked the pool and streetscape areas to visually assess of the types and number of shrubs and trees required for replacement and ensure that we were in agreement about the tasks required.
September 28, 2012
The landscape group invited all potential bidders to participate in a formal, pre-bid "walk through" of all three pool and streetscape areas to demonstrate the portions requiring work and solicit suggestions from the landscape contractors.
October 6, 2012
Bids were due. We requested bids from five firms including Colorado Property Care, Weatherstone's existing landscape maintenance firm, and All-Budget Landscaping, recommended by a resident, both of which ultimately did not submit bids. We received bids from three of the five firms: Homestyle Landscaping, Arapahoe Landscapes, and Castlewood Custom Landscape & Design. Each of these firms is based locally.
October 11, 2012
I emailed all three bids received to the other five members of the Weatherstone landscape group. We reviewed the bids separately.
October 13, 2012
The entire landscape group met at the Purcell home to review the bids carefully together and discuss pros and cons of each. We disqualified the Homestyle bid because it was incomplete and poorly projected. After clarifying that Castlewood did not need to include replacement of all existing lilies along the streetscapes in its bid, we realized that the Arapahoe and Castlewood bids were fairly close in price, but Arapahoe's bid was slightly lower. With price, prior performance, and reliability factors in mind, we ultimately selected Arapahoe.
November 1, 2012
The landscape group met with the Weatherstone board of directors during its regular meeting (held this month at the Palomino club house) to discuss our findings and present our recommendations.
November 16, 2012
All members of the landscape group met with Wayne Anderson, owner of Arapahoe Landscapes, at the Works' home. We discussed selection of plant material in detail. We reviewed the color, form, and mature height of potential plant materials, as well as their soil, water, and maintenance requirements. We narrowed the selection of trees and plants for each area to species that will thrive in our arid climate and clay soils and provide a coordinated look across the neighborhood. We also informed Wayne that landscape work on the area immediately surrounding the pool building and in the pool picnic area would be deferred until decisions were made regarding potential changes to the building footprint. The board increased the budget from $13,000 to $20,000 to enable more of the highly visible work to be done sooner.
January 30, 2013
A revised Arapahoe Landscapes bid was accepted by the Weatherstone HOA board. The revised bid incorporates the landscape group's plant species recommendations, narrows pool landscaping only to the parking lot area, and includes minor adjustments to irrigation to improve plant survivability. This revised bid was accepted by the Weatherstone HOA board. The agreement was countersigned February 5 by Wayne Anderson.
Colorado Property Care removed dead shrubs from the pool parking lot area several months ago. As soon as the danger of last frost passes, installation of the new plant materials is expected to begin. The landscape group will work with Wayne to set the anticipated start and completion dates and keep the board informed.
| Project Next Steps|
Based on estimates from contractors, the landscape committee projects that another $30,000 will be needed to complete landscaping around the pool and the picnic area, and fill in remaining blank spaces along the two streetscapes.