Buses depart at 7:30 a.m., board in front of Marriott on California Street.
We begin our tour at Cheyenne Botanic Gardens, Wyoming’s only public garden. This city-owned garden is on a nine-acre plot within a park, and includes 27 specialty landscapes and a greenhouse/conservatory which is 100% solar heated. This is the West’s oldest public site for renewable energy. We will see the Paul Smith Children’s Village, the nation’s first LEED-certified public children’s garden, designed by Herb Schaal, and with a clearly demonstrated theme of sustainability for past, present and future, Cheyenne’s harsh climate, including hailstorms and daily wind , as well as both early and late frosts, make the outstanding variety of plant displays all around the gardens even more amazing. Tour-goers will also learn about Cheyenne Botanic Gardens’ work to develop the High Plains Arboretum, a former USDA research station, located at another site.
Our journey then heads one hour south to Fort Collins, enjoying a box lunch along the way, where we will tour several sites on the Colorado State University Campus. The Colorado State University Flower Trial Garden includes over 1100 varieties of annual flowers developed by seed and vegetative companies from around the world. They are evaluated under Colorado’s extreme climatic conditions – high heat and light intensity, low humidity and occasionally stormy weather. The annual trials performance are formally evaluated in August and September with Best of Show, Best New Variety and other results made available for all to use.
The National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation (NCGRP) The NCGRP is a gene bank that conserves the biological diversity and utilization of genetic resources for economic and environmental sustainability. Visitors will tour the seed bank and witness the state-of-the-art technology used to preserve the seed collection. The Plant Environmental Research Center (PERC) This outdoor display and test area allows students, researchers, industry representatives, extension personnel and homeowners to learn, teach and evaluate horticulture research and demonstration projects for the Rocky Mountain/High Plains region.
The site includes a six acre arboretum of woody plants, planted according to plant families, with over 1250 different taxa. We close our excursion at the Gardens on Spring Creek, the community botanic garden of Fort Collins. Visitors will take self-guided tours of this garden viewing the Children’s Garden, Sustainable Backyard, Garden of Eatin’ and Rock Garden. Plans for future development will be on display. Tour-goers will enjoy a local beer brewed from hops grown at the garden, and sample delicious local fare in the Outdoor Teaching Kitchen before heading back to Denver.
Special restrictions apply to tour the NCGRP; More details provided when registering.