Wildflower pilot blooming at Colorado course


A project to introduce wildflower meadows to a Colorado golf course is showing promising results after just one year.

CommonGround Golf Course in Aurora, which is the largest green space in the metropolis, sought advice from the Denver Botanic Gardens in its quest to be more environmentally friendly.

The 300-acre site launched the scheme in December 2022, using a converted green aerator to punch hundreds of holes in the ground alongside fairways, next to bunkers and behind greens before a team of intern botanists hand-sowed wildflower seeds. 

It is yet another example of how golf courses can have a positive impact on the environment, providing natural habitats for diverse wildlife, flora and fauna – the importance of which was highlighted in our recent report Golf & Social Media: Sustainability.

Dr Rebecca Hufft, associate director of applied conservation at Denver Botanic Gardens, is leading the project. She told The Daily Telegraph: “We went out last spring to see if anything had emerged at these plots and it was pretty awesome. We saw a couple of species of annuals, species that pop up in the first year. They were growing great and it had all germinated and flowered.”

Hufft’s team also sowed perennial species that will bloom every year and while they did not flower in the first year, Hufft said: “I saw all the little seedlings pop up, so they survived pretty nicely. It was successful for year one.”

Last year ‘Golf & Social Media: Sustainability’ highlighted that golf is widely perceived to have a negative impact on the environment, and suggested that the many examples of the sport’s commitment to environmental stewardship could be better communicated.

Hefft believes the CommonGround project could be a blueprint for other courses in the state and beyond.

“I definitely think that this is a model that can be applied elsewhere,” she said.

“I want golf courses to be able to do this themselves. If the goal is to make a model for other golf courses, it is important for it to be something that they can just do themselves with their own equipment and staff.”