Spring 2019: A memorial bench placed along walking path
A memorial bench to honor Bob Wiltgen, our friend and long time Property Manager, was installed in the park area near the pavilion. Bob always had a joke and a smile while he went about his duties, and he is very much missed. We welcome his daughter Laurin, who is taking over Bob’s duties at the Springs.
Summer 2018: Annual Loveland Garden Tour & Art Show comes to Mariana Springs
The 2018 Loveland Youth Gardner’s annual show and fundraising event was held on June 23rd at the Springs. Six homes were chosen in our neighborhood (by the tour organizers) and asked to participate by opening their gardens to the public. Each of these was then paired with a local artist whose outdoor art was featured on display and available for sale during the event. There was also a silent auction and garden experts available to answer any questions guests or homeowners had about gardening in general.
Tickets were sold in advance and at the show. Attendance was in excess of 600 people, one of the largest turnouts for this event. Loveland Youth Gardeners also reported one of their largest incomes for this event.
Neighborhood participants were Kathy and Marc Brown (155 Alpine Laurel), Anne Gaspers and Scott Kukral (250 Meadowsweet Cir), Paula Harsin and Jeff Drager (251 Meadowsweet Cir), Andrea Dunn (270 Meadowsweet Cir), Carol and Scott Barrow (283 Meadowsweet Cir), and Lisa and Mike Eddy (307 Meadowsweet Cir).
Fall 2016: Creating a Bird-Friendly Trail
Audubon Rockies partners with Springs at Mariana HOA to install bird houses along
A small neighborhood with a big heart! The Springs at Mariana is a community consisting of 42 single family houses at the far west part of Loveland city limits, past Boedecker Reservoir, off 1st Street. Their Homeowners Association (HOA) sees its purpose as actively encouraging a positive community spirit and promoting the use of sustainable, affordable, and attractive outdoor common areas. They were recipients one of the 2015 Larimer County Small Grants for Community Partnering and have been able to enhance their common area by:
- planting drought resistant native plants next to a pond area, that will attract song birds, and provide education and enjoyment for neighborhood children and adults,
- installing native boulders and plants in our large grassy common area which will reduce the need for substantial watering, especially in dry years
- coordinating volunteer community labor to eradicate invasive weed species in common areas; removing a 75-foot row of dead native coyote willows.
One of the last pieces of the puzzle was installing birdhouses around their one-third mile walking path that circles their neighborhood. They solicited help from Audubon Rockies to help determine which bird species are present, how to attract various species of birds and help with installation of bird houses.
In mid-September, Jamie Weiss, Habitat Hero Coordinator of Audubon Rockies joined 9 volunteer homeowners at the Springs of Mariana neighborhood to set out on the mission of installing 9 bird houses. Once our site selection was determined based off the lifestyle habits of birds, we got to digging poles and setting them in Quickrete©.
Seven bird houses were designed in attracting House Wrens, a small gregarious bird that likes shrubby areas and forages on insects. These birds are great attracting in nest boxes as they will build anywhere, and will even compete with other birds for houses by destroying their eggs. These bird houses were mounted on 6ft poles and their small size of 1 ¼ inch diameter hole opening makes them a perfect fit for wrens and excludes predators. These nest boxes might also attract different species, like Black-capped Chickadees or even Tree Swallows.
Two bird houses were designed in attracting Mountain Bluebirds, a striking blue bird that likes open areas and forages on insects. These bird houses need to be placed no less than 300ft apart to lessen competition. These bird houses were constructed from old donated barn wood and assemble and mounted on 6ft poles with a hole size of 1 ½ inch in diameter.
The main objectives from these various projects at the Springs at Mariana neighborhood were: 1) reduce water use; 2) provide habitat for wild birds; 3) make their common areas more attractive and interesting thus promoting more outdoor recreation and 4) create more opportunities for people to connect with the land and learn about sustainability.
Thanks to this amazing neighborhood’s vision and their hard-working volunteers for setting out to make a better difference in their community!