The Gardens on Spring Creek Are Expanding Their Sanctuary for Nature, Education – and Bikes

Apr 30, 2019 | In The Community

If you’re not familiar with The Gardens on Spring Creek, do yourself a gigantic favor and get to know this FoCo oasis of nature, plants, education, and fun. And if you are familiar with The Gardens, you likely share our excitement about the recent wrap-up of their incredible five-acre expansion!

We recently had the privilege and pleasure of sitting down with Korrie Johnston, Fundraising and Marketing Coordinator for The Gardens. We discussed the latest details on this massive project and got Korrie’s thoughts on what the expansion means to our NoCo community. (Plus, we chatted about the exciting ways we at Associates in Family Medicine get to do our part in the grand Master Plan.)

An update on the updates

The last time we caught up with Korrie, Phase One of The Gardens’ Master Plan expansion was just beginning. Now, five new acres of demonstration gardens are open to visitors – nearly doubling the span of natural landscape for people to explore. “New garden spaces are coming to life all around us,” says Korrie. “We planted 10,000 plant species throughout the fall of 2018, and we still have 10,000 more to plant this spring and summer!”

The latest additions to this blossoming community destination? A stunning amphitheater and Great Lawn (open for concerts and events beginning summer 2020), along with four large gardens that seek to educate, inspire, and engage:

  • The Undaunted Garden – Designed by nationally known landscape designer and Fort Collins resident, Lauren Springer Ogden, this drought-resistant garden will soon feature one of the largest winter-hardy cacti collections in the western U.S.
  • The Prairie Garden – Reminiscent of natural Colorado prairies, this space is a statement on native gardening and what grows well here in our home state.
  • The Foothills Garden – A variety of native shrubs, conifers, and flowering perennials give a taste of what you’d experience in the lower foothills of Northern Colorado.
  • The Wetlands – This naturalistic demonstration area showcases water-loving plants and models effective, responsible ways of managing and moving storm water.

“These new areas really help us take our vision one step further at The Gardens, which is connecting people with plants and demonstrating all zones of botanical and ecological science in a central community gathering space,” Korrie smiles. “It’s a heartbeat of nature in the midst of urban development.”

 

Seeds yet to sprout

While the first phase of the expansion is open to tour and explore, there’s still more in the works for The Gardens on Spring Creek.

“We’re gearing up for our annual community Spring Plant Sale on May 11 and 12, which we’ll host for the first time surrounding the Great Lawn,” says Korrie. “This is our largest fundraiser of the year, and we typically welcome around 4,000 people over that one weekend.”

On top of nurturing hundreds of plants for the upcoming spring sale, Korrie and the rest of The Gardens staff are busy dreaming and planning for their grand-opening celebration this fall. “We’re currently watching our Visitor’s Center transform and double in size,” says Korrie. “We can’t wait to introduce the larger, more purposeful space, complete with our community’s first permanent Butterfly House. It will really extend our capacities for education, engagement, and events.”

Partnering in the progress with new bike racks

Having partnered with The Gardens since 2016, AFM could not be more excited about all the amazing growth underway for this thriving community space. The Gardens’ mission is to enrich the lives of people and foster environmental stewardship through horticulture, which hugely complements our philosophy on healthy eating, healthy living, and healthy communities.

As a tangible representation of our shared values around lifestyle, movement, and mindfulness, we at AFM recently worked with Korrie and The Gardens team to envision and implement yet another new addition to their flourishing natural space: bike racks.

“As our city grows, parking is becoming more and more of a challenge, not to mention the environmental impacts,” Korrie explains. “The brightly colored new bike racks provided by AFM are located on the most traveled trail in Fort Collins, right at our north gate. This brings a new level of convenience to those using the trail and visiting our gardens. Plus, it helps cement our alignment with health, active living, caring for our environment, and partnering for the good of the community we love.”

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves, Korrie! We can’t wait for all the exciting things to come at The Gardens on Spring Creek and to continue being a part of the beautiful journey.

 

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