Friends of the Gardens on Spring Creek

To expand the Gardens on Spring Creek's cultural and educational role in the community, in 2015 the Friends of the Gardens launched a capital campaign to complete the Master Plan of The Gardens. The first phase is completion of five acres of gardens including the Great Lawn, Undaunted Garden, and the Prairie, Foothills and Wetland Gardens. The second phase of the campaign is completion of the Visitors Center adding a conservatory, community meeting room and expanded lobby and gift shop.

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Organizational Overview

Friends of the Gardens on Spring Creek
2145 Centre Avenue
Fort Collins, CO 80526
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.

We need your help to raise remain funds for garden completion by year end. Your support today will allow us to begin construction of our remaining gardens this winter!

You play an essential role in helping us reach this pivotal milestone in our development. It starts with you, today. Please donate to help us build and grow these gardens together-securing this legacy project, for your family today and for many generations to come.

Background Statement

The Gardens on Spring Creek, the community botanic garden of Fort Collins, is a unique public-private partnership between the City of Fort Collins and 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.

Programming and visitation has grown as we work to complete our Master Plan. Today, The Gardens provides over 65,000 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.

Impact Statement

In 2015, The Gardens and The Friends achieved the following goals:
• Visitation of over 65,000 visitors.
• Secured lead private donations of our capital campaign. We ensured The Gardens was on the Community Capital Improvement tax garnering $2 million for completion of our Visitor's Center.
• Educated thousands of residents in gardening, nature, cooking, and crafting programs.
• Expanded the Community Garden Outreach Program to increase the number of community gardens in Fort Collins, and educate residents about growing their own food.
• Volunteers continued donating their time for many projects -- 1,400 volunteers donated 11,377 hours valued at $262,473.
• The number and quality of community partnerships grew. The Gardens partners with over 30 other educational and non-profit agencies.

2016 Goals include:

Part I: Capital (Long-term)
A. Finish Capital Campaign
B. Complete design process for gardens and begin construction
Part II: Operations (Annual)
C. Increase revenue by 3%
D. Enhance visitor experience with a focus on customer service and quality programming
E. Maintain and update existing display gardens
F. Continue to improve volunteer program management and create a volunteer community that supports The Gardens growth
G. Evaluate, enhance and sustain community partnerships
H. Staff Development
Part III: Community outreach
I. Evaluate community outreach
J. Community Garden Outreach Program

Needs Statement

The top five most pressing needs for our organization include:
1. Capital funding to complete The Gardens Master Plan and grow the Endowment Fund;
2. Funding for the Community Garden Outreach Program so we may continue providing technical support to organizations wanting to build community gardens in Fort Collins and educational opportunities for community gardeners;
3. Arts and crafts supplies for youth programs;
4. Engaged and committed volunteers.

Executive Director Statement

Dear Friends,
As the community botanic garden of Fort Collins, Colorado, the Gardens on Spring Creek is becoming one of the cultural gems of our city. It is a place of beauty, education, and inspiration.

Opened in 2004, The Gardens is a public-private partnership. The City of Fort Collins owns the facility and pays approximately 60% of the operations and maintenance costs. Our non-profit partner, the Friends of the Gardens on Spring Creek, has been instrumental in securing funding to build all of the gardens on our site in addition to raising programming and operational funding.

Since its opening, The Gardens has grown in every way! We have built 5 gardens on our site: the Children's Garden, the Garden of Eatin', the Rock Garden, the Wetland Demonstration Site, and the Sustainable Backyard. Visitation has increased over 600% -- from 11,013 in 2007 to 65,000 in 2015. Just last year, 1,400 volunteers contributed more than 14,000 hours of their time in many different ways. Finally, we partner with over 30 other community agencies in Fort Collins.

We hope you will join us as we Take Root. Grow. Flourish.


Michelle Provaznik, Director
The Gardens on Spring Creek

Board Chair/President Statement

Dear Friends,

The Gardens on Spring Creek has become a place of beauty, inspiration, and learning, bringing together people of all ages who consider the Gardens on Spring Creek a place to explore, a place to grow, and a place to call their own.

The success of The Gardens depends on the generous contributions from our Gardens' friends and members, like you.

Your end-of-the-year gift will be used to complete the fundraising for our garden expansion.

Together, we can ensure that our Gardens and the extraordinary tangible and intangible resources it offers will continue to flourish.

During this season of giving, I invite you to donate so our Gardens can continue to flourish into the next decade.

We thank you for your support today and always,

Randy Morgan, President
The Friends of the Gardens on Spring Creek

Our friends, Bohemian Foundation and Woodward Charitable Trust, have taken a leadership role in our campaign. They each donated $250,000 to the campaign. In addition, they issued a matching challenge grant of $500,000 for the completion of our gardens-for every $1 donated. We secured this match in August and are now raising the final dollars needed to begin construction of our new gardens.
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.

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