July is the Irrigation Association’s Smart Irrigation Month, making it an ideal time to celebrate the ongoing water conservation initiatives of Denver Parks and Recreation (DPR), an agency charged with maintaining public parkland in one of America’s most active metro areas. Irrigation of Denver parks has a long history – and a bright, water-conserving future. Denver residents and civic leaders treasure natural resources and have made the city a leader in conservation efforts such as recycling and reducing water consumption. This convergence of ideals – love of the great outdoors and the desire to serve as responsible stewards – was a major impetus for the City of Denver Parks and Recreation Central Control Master Plan (CCMP). In brief, the CCMP is a five-year project (2011-2015) to improve DPR irrigation to achieve greater irrigation efficiency, and reduce water consumption and costs. A key resource that is enhancing irrigation efficiency in the parks system is the expanded use of the Toro ® Sentinel ® Central Control System. In ways the old irrigation maintenance staff never could have imagined, the Sentinel Central Control System gives the parks irrigation staff outstanding reach and flexibility in programming irrigation and adjusting schedules – either manually or automatically. Early indications are that the CCMP will produce the desired results of reducing water consumption. “My gut says we’re seeing 20% [reductions in water consumption] as we’re relying more heavily on the use of central controls, and that doesn’t even include labor savings,” said Jill Wuertz, Water Conservation & Greenhouse Administrator for Denver Parks and Recreation. With an increased focus on irrigation management, improving system efficiencies and the expanded use of the Toro Sentinel Central Control System, Denver Parks and Recreation is lowering its water consumption and irrigation costs while still providing residents with one of the nation’s most beautiful and popular city park systems.