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- Friends of the Gardens on Spring Creek
- 2145 Centre Avenue
Fort Collins, CO 80526
We have a number of programs and special events serving the community of Fort Collins and surrounding area that include:
*Read and Seed
*School Field Trips
*Plant it Forward - Fighting Hunger from the Ground Up to support the Food Bank for Larimer County
*Community Garden Outreach Program
*High Plains Landscape Workshop
*Spring Plant Sale
*ARTiculture Sculpture Tour
*Nature's Harvest Fest
*Urban Homestead Tour
*Halloween Enchanted Garden
*Garden of Lights
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 (now AECOM) 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.
Programming and visitation has grown as we work to complete our Master Plan. Today, The Gardens provides over 70,000 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.
In 2014, The Gardens and The Friends achieved the following goals:
• Increased visitation to 70,000 visitors.
• Maintained revenue so that the organization is 50% privately funded.
• Educated nearly 1,000 adults and 4,200 children 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 -- 175 regular volunteers and 493 one-day volunteers donated 10,261 hours.
• The number and quality of community partnerships grew. The Gardens partners with over 30 other educational and non-profit agencies.
2015 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 5%
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
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
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 50% 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 70,000 in 2014. Just last year, 159 active volunteers contributed more than 10,000 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
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 not only help support core programming at The Gardens and the maintenance of more than 8,000 plants, but it will do much more.
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