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Betty Ford Alpine Gardens

Your gift to Betty Ford Alpine Gardens brings the beauty of alpine plants to thousands of visitors to the Vail gardens. Your gift supports the education, conservation, and horticulture programs that are the vital parts of achieving this mission.

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Family Activities

Class

Animal-Related 

Beneficiaries

Adolescents/Youth (13-19 years)
Children (4-12 years)
General population

Description

Families discover together during a 1.5 hour session. Sessions are rotating 4 nature themes.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

Expert Speaker Series

Class

Environment 

Beneficiaries

General population

Description

Climatologists, botanists, scientists and artists of the highest caliber present information in a series of evening lectures.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

Traveling Exhibits

Class

Environment 

Beneficiaries

General Public/Unspecified

Description

Betty Ford Alpine Gardens hosts educational, innovative, hands-on traveling exhibitions. We collaborate with universities and museums to increase visitation to the Gardens and provide more insight into our mountain environment. Next year will feature Alpines 2020.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

Betty Ford Alpine Gardens has experienced a significant increase in the number of guests at the Education Center. In addition, the Gardens conducts an annual survey of our guests. Based on the survey, the Gardens are highly promoted by visitors and the economic and social benefits to the Town of Vail are extraordinary.

Education Center

Class

Environment 

Beneficiaries

General Public/Unspecified
General population

Description

The Education Center

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

the number of guest visiting the Education Center increased by more than 25%.

Children's Discover & Grow

Class

Environment 

Beneficiaries

Children Only (5 - 14 years)
Outdoor Recreationists
People With AIDS (pwas)
Physically Disabled
Children (4-12 years)

Description

Drop-in activities for children to explore the wonders of nature. Both in the Education Center and on a mobile cart, magnifying glasses, bug containers and more, gives kids the tools necessary to inspect plants, insects and water bugs. Families can also check out the Discovery Tour and explore the Gardens in search of a treasure.

Structured classes provide hands-on science education projects.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

through surveys

Guided Tours

Class

Environment 

Beneficiaries

General Public
Physically Disabled

Description

Trained guides lead daily tours and explain the history of the Gardens and environmental features that are showcased in our five distinct gardens.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

Increase in earned income and number of guests.

Butterfly Launch

Class

Environment 

Beneficiaries

Children Only (5 - 14 years)

Description

Each year, the Gardens partner with Eagle and Lake County public and private elementary schools to provide nearly 600 3rd grade students a hands-on learning experience on how nature changes larvae into butterflies. Each participating class receives a free butterfly kit used to incorporate the study of butterflies with various life sciences topics and to help meet the National Science Education Standards curriculum content for grades K-8. Children learn the life cycles and anatomy of butterflies and understand the miracle of metamorphosis as they raise their own living creatures. The children, their teachers, and other members of the community then join together at the Gardens for a celebratory "launch" of the butterflies. The afternoon event includes the Denver Butterfly Pavilion's educational displays and interactive games, life cycle Bingo, live entertainment, and communal fun.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

Success of the program is based on the retention of the schools from year to year, the number of participants, and through evaluation of pre and post program tests.

Horticultural Workshop Best Practices

Class

Environment 

Beneficiaries

Adults
Aging/Elderly/Senior Citizens
Disabled
Ethnic/Racial Minorities -- General
General Public

Description

Betty Ford Alpine Gardens provides an opportunity for a wide range of people to experience a world-class botanic garden. As a botanic garden, one of our inherent purposes is to educate our visitors about the plants in our collection, specifically the species that are native to high altitude mountainous regions such as ours. Our role also is to connect the public with the sense of discovery that comes with experiencing both the art and the science of horticulture, and to provide them with an environment that is maintained at the highest standards of excellence.

Betty Ford Alpine Gardens is made up of a series of sub-gardens designed to showcase the variety of growing environments that exist at high altitudes as well as the plant species that inhabit those different environments. These include our Alpine Rock Garden, our Mountain Perennial Garden and the areas set aside for our European Alps and Himalayan Species Collections. The quality and extensive nature of our collection (over 3,000 species, some quite rare) and our rigorous labeling program enable both professional and amateur horticulturists, as well as the uninitiated or simply curious, to study and enjoy our Gardens in a way that creates a closer connection between them and the world of nature.

Through the maintenance and continual enhancement of our Gardens we are able to serve as a model for appropriate horticulture as we showcase cultivation methods in riparian or watershed environments, model the use of drought-tolerant species, and exhibit native plants and non-native species that are adaptable to the challenges presented by our high altitude, mountainous region.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

The success of our horticultural program has been evidenced by the following:

--Director, Nicola Ripley, was President of the American Public Gardens Association. Nicola is now Immediate-Past President and a member of APGA's Board of Directors.

--Betty Ford Alpine Gardens was named the 2009 winner of the "Garden of Excellence" award given jointly by APGA and Horticultural Magazine.

--In 2010, our Gardens received designation by the North American Plant Collections Consortium as the National Alpine Plant Collection of Colorado.

--The number of people who come to Betty Ford Alpine Gardens grows each year and exceeds 100,000 visitors annually.

Key aspects of this profile information have been reviewed by Community First Foundation staff. Each organization is exclusively responsible for the content that appears on the profile page. Community First Foundation offers general guidance as to the purpose of each area but does not require or encourage charities to include anything in particular in each section.