News / Promoting tall fescue to replace thirsty bluegrass

Roaring Fork Conservancy promotes tall fescue to replace thirsty bluegrass

(Basalt, CO) - In the American West, the overwhelming majority of water consumption occurs through outdoor irrigation and evaporation. This water often does not return to the system directly, if at all. More than 60% of municipal water use is outdoor watering; most of it going to green grass lawns.

To demonstrate conservation-based solutions for a lawn, Roaring Fork Conservancy partnered with Basalt Public Library to plant drought resistant turf called tall fescue. Its roots grow up to 3 feet deep and uses half the water of traditional lawns. This demonstration plot is adjacent to the classic lawn grasses in the front of Basalt Library, allowing visitors to compare the two in effort to create an opportunity to explore low water solutions to traditional lawns.


Read more about this project in Scott Condon's article in the Aspen Daily News on August 15, 2022:

Turf trouble: With drought persisting, Basalt’s Roaring Fork Conservancy promotes replacing thirsty bluegrass with tall fescue



Facts about “Black Beauty”(this is the species planted at Basalt Library) -

Colorado State University Extension Plant Talk about tall fescue lawns -

Colorado Springs Utilities fact sheet on Tall Fescue:



Interested in learning more about how you can convert your lawn to a more water efficient landscape?

Contact one of these landscape professionals within the Roaring Fork Valley or to find a Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper (QWEL) visit


Moser Irrigation:

Sundew Design LLC:



Contact Us

Roaring Fork Conservancy

PHONE: (970) 927-1290

PO Box 3349
Basalt, CO 81621

22800 Two Rivers Road
Basalt, CO 81621

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