WHAT A YEAR IT'S BEEN!
SEASON to remember
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March of 2020, no one knew what to expect or what our “new normal” would look like. But, just like Mother Nature, we at The Gardens are resilient.
So we adapted, reimagined and pivoted to continue to provide the experience we all value so much.
Thanks to the support of our community we were able to keep our highly-skilled staff intact and our doors open safely since June.
We worked to provide restoration and healing for our visitors, a place for socially-distanced connection for volunteers and event goers and a trusted source for high-quality and engaging education programming. Here are just a few highlights of what we accomplished.
ANNUAL PLANT SALE
With more than 30,000 plants in greenhouses at The Gardens and Colorado State University, we knew we had to find a way to reimagine our annual Spring Plant Sale. We took the sale online and staff spent nearly three weeks fulfilling orders and delivering them via curbside pick up. Thanks to the popularity of quarantined gardening and our Northern Colorado community, we had our most successful sale to-date.
Following the renovation of 2018 and 2019, a few areas were ready for fresh new plantings – most notably the Green Roof Shelter in the Children’s Garde, the Color Walk along the Great Lawn, and Everitt Pavilion. Dozens of grasses, blooming perennials and cold hardy cacti went onto the shelter, while splashy annuals combine with perennials and shrubs to line the walkways around the stage and Café Grove areas.
In addition to a space for growth and learning, The Gardens is also a place for celebration! We hosted seven weddings and a rehearsal dinner this year, as well as retreats, meetings and friendly gatherings. Call us to reserve your space!
Image by Lynatta copyright 2020
SNOW IN SEPTEMBER
save the plants!
More than six inches of snow fell the day after Labor Day, along with below-freezing temperatures. Staff scrambled to cover and save the Garden of Eatin’, which was featured on the NoCo Urban Homestead Tour just a few days later.
The Gardens was able to welcome volunteers back onsite a few weeks before the general public. Never had they been missed so much! While staff members were redistributed from various positions to help with plant care and outdoor work, we were truly grateful to have our army of volunteers back on site.
As schools wrapped up the year with virtual learning, so did The Gardens. Through the power of technology (phones, tablets, Zoom, and a lot of creativity) nearly 2,800 students from Poudre, Thompson Valley, and Weld County School Districts participated in virtual
school programming from The Gardens.
for 300 students
To help meet the needs of working parents, we were able to modify our summer camp programming to meet COVID-19 guidelines. Then, this fall, we created Gardens Explorers Club, an after-school initiative for students learning from home. These two programs served nearly 300 students and included nearly 7,000 contact hours.
planted & polished
The final element of the Gardens Expansion was installed this year–our Welcome Garden
Art was installed and the first round of perennials planted. This feature is the first thing visitors see when they enter The Gardens through the Visitor’s Center and
includes a series of mosaic benches as part of the Art in Public Places project.
CAMP IN A BOX
becomes an at-home kit
After making the difficult decision to cancel our Spring Break Camp, our education staff developed Camp in a Box, an at-home kit complete with everything needed to explore the outdoors from home.. In addition to providing all the materials needed for programming, Gardens staff also provided Zoom instruction to keep kids engaged.
With the ability to social distance on the Great Lawn and throughout other parts of the site, The Gardens became quite the gathering place! We hosted adult and family yoga classes, tai chi, cooking classes and other educational courses in person as well as a number of online adult classes. All together, these efforts served more than 500 students this summer.
MUSIC FROM THE EVERITT PAVILLION
our first concert!
After many years of planning and construction, the dream of having live music from the Everitt Pavilion came true. Our first concert was held in August with a performance by part of the Fort Collins Symphony, followed by our Date Night at The Gardens series and a concert by guitarist Trace Bundy. All performances were to a sold-out crowd socially distanced on the
for your support
Thanks to the support of our community, we accomplished so much this year. Please consider making a gift to the Friends of the Gardens on Spring Creek today. Together, we can make 2021 an even better year at The Gardens!
The Gardens on Spring Creek provides critical services to our community, especially during this challenging time. Our beautiful gardens have remained a safe space for socially-distanced healing and respite and to connect to people and nature. Our events and programming provide a sense of normalcy, we continue to grow produce in support of our neighbors served by the Food Bank for Larimer County, and we remain a trusted source for high-quality and engaging youth programming.
Still, things are not business as usual. Our reimagined formats take additional staffing resources. Many of our funding resources were eliminated while others were dramatically reduced. Yet, despite everything, the Gardens on Spring Creek continues to be a place to learn, celebrate, heal and grow.
Help us continue to provide this experience in the year ahead. We know that times are hard for everyone. If you are able to make a donation to The Gardens, at any level, we would be deeply grateful.