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 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 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. The Colorado State University Research Foundation (CSURF), a not-for-profit organization, owned the land originally. In a land-swap deal, the City of Fort Collins traded what is now the Annual Flower Trial Gardens at College and Lake for our site. The City also paid an additional sum for the land.
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.
Since then, The Gardens has completed its Master Plan and now welcomes thousands of visitors annually. We are a botanical oasis in your own backyard! To learn more, please visit fcgov.com/gardens.
While 2020 has not gone exactly as planned, all of us at the Gardens on Spring Creek and with The Friends share a profound sense of gratitude as we end the busy growing season.
We are grateful to have kept an amazing staff who adapted to maintain our gardens during closure, re-invented the Spring Plant Sale to an online format, provided virtual education programming and continues to pivot with events and programming as the year progresses.
We are grateful to the many volunteers who came back to help plant and maintain our beautiful gardens,
assist with Butterfly House admissions, work our special events and many other tasks. We always say
we cannot do it without our volunteers-and we felt it deeply during our two and a half months of closure.
We are grateful to our Members. You made this year's Plant Sale the best one ever, attended
Member Mornings in record numbers and used your early access to help sell out our events. Your
support-both in your love for our organization and financially-has had tremendous impact.
We are grateful to our donors and sponsors who helped create our beautiful gardens. Your continued support is essential to successful events and programs.
We are grateful to our community. From the woman who dropped off a bag of hand-sewn masks for staff and volunteers to the community members growing produce for Plant it Forward, our community steps up to support us in many ways.
We are grateful to be a safe community resource during this time. The Gardens is a place of beauty, hope and inspiration. Throughout summer and into fall, we have been thanked for providing guests to our gardens and events with a sense of "normal." It is truly our honor to do so.
Together, we can continue to provide this experience through whatever challenges come next. We know that times are hard for everyone right now. And, if you are able to make a donation to The Gardens, at any level, we would be deeply grateful.
Tom Satterly, Board President
The Friends of the Gardens on Spring Creek
Michelle Provaznik, Executive Director
The Gardens on Spring Creek