The mission of the Friends of the Gardens on Spring Creek is to cultivate a world-class botanic garden through fundraising and advocacy.
The mission of the Gardens on Spring Creek is improve the lives of people and foster environmental stewardship through horticulture.
The Gardens on Spring Creek, the community botanic garden of Fort Collins, is a City of Fort Collins facility supported by the Friends of the Gardens on Spring Creek, a 501(C)3 organization.
The idea to build a community horticulture center in Fort Collins was conceived by Jim Clark in 1987, after a visit to Cheyenne Botanic Garden in Wyoming. Shortly thereafter, a team of citizens formed a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to creating a botanic center modeled after the public/private partnership between the Friends of the Cheyenne Botanic Garden Foundation Board and the City of Cheyenne.
As an intermediary step to creating a botanic garden, the non-profit group lobbied City Council to create a community horticulture program that was responsible for garden projects around the community. In 1995, City Council voted to fund a position responsible for creating the horticulture program.
Due to the success of that program and the continued efforts of the non-profit organization, funding for the creation of a community horticulture center was placed on the ballot as part of Building Community Choices (BCC). In 1997, Fort Collins voters enthusiastically supported BCC with 71 percent voting in favor of the proposal; $2 million dollars was appropriated to create what is now the Gardens on Spring Creek.
Once initial funding was secured, the next step was to identify a location. Several sites across Fort Collins were considered. This site, in the Spring Creek corridor, was selected for its centrally located 18 acres. With a location now secure, the next step was to create a Master Plan for the site and identify a name. After much public input and a lengthy design process the Master Plan, designed by local firm EDAW, was unveiled in 2000. A new name - the Gardens on Spring Creek - was created. And the non-profit board changed its name to be the Friends of the Gardens on Spring Creek.
The long planning process was successful and The Gardens officially opened its doors to the public in 2004. Since that time, The Friends and The Gardens have been busy raising money to build gardens on the site. The Children's Gardens was the first garden to open in 2006. The Garden of Eatin', a ¾ acre fruit and vegetable garden, opened in 2009; followed shortly thereafter by the Rock Garden and Wetland Demonstration Sites in 2011. The Sustainable Backyard opened in 2012.
Ground breaking for the final five acres of gardens, including the Great Lawn, Undaunted Garden, and Prairie & Foothills gardens, occurred on Nov. 7, 2017. This was followed in early 2019 by the ground breaking of the completion of the Visitor's Center which includes a community meeting room, expanded lobby and gift shop and a new Butterfly House in partnership with Butterfly Pavilion based in Westminster. We celebrated the Grand Opening of our new completed facility and Master Plan on November 16, 2019!
Programming and visitation has grown throughout the years. Today, The Gardens provides over 85,000 annual visitors the following:
• beautiful and inspirational gardens to enjoy
• educational programs for youth and adults
• special events throughout the year
• volunteer opportunities for the community
• community and school garden programs.
After two years of upheaval during our closure for construction and expansion, all of us at The Gardens hoped 2020 would provide an opportunity to settle into our beautiful new space and concentrate on providing our visitors with the world-class experience at the heart of our vision statement.
As everyone now knows, COVID-19 has upended best laid plans everywhere, including our own.
Now more than ever, despite our closure and the certain financial impact of the pandemic, The Gardens is committed to ensuring access to anyone in our community who wants to visit, to learn, to celebrate, and to rest regardless of their economic circumstances.
Gardens for All provides organizations serving our community with bundles of family passes for their clients, local libraries with complimentary one-time admission passes for their members to check out, SNAP recipients with $1 passes, and allows care givers and their clients to access The Gardens on site.
As the country starts to re-open and the totality of the financial impact of COVID-19 becomes evident, we anticipate a growing need for Gardens for All in this community. We are committed to meeting that need, and ask that you join with us in those efforts on this special Giving Tuesday.
Friends of The Gardens on Spring Creek
The Gardens on Spring Creek