While Spring Creek Trail has been utilized by bikers, joggers
and other exercise enthusiasts for years, it is just now welcoming
another group of enthusiasts: gardeners.
Located at 2145 S. Centre Ave., just south of CSU, is a
community horticulture center known as The Gardens on Spring
The gardens are on an 18-acre plot neighboring the Spring Creek.
The gardens officially opened on May 8 after 17 years of planning
and financial contributions from both public and private
contributors. The gardens recently received $200,000 from Greater
Outdoor Colorado, a group that finances natural Colorado
organizations through profits from the state lottery.
“(The gardens) are city owned and operated,” said Jim Clark,
director of the gardens. “But we have a lot of nonprofit support
and assistance from volunteers.”
The gardens were formed as a community-oriented establishment,
operating under the mission, “to enrich the lives of people and
foster environmental stewardship through horticulture.”
Satisfying this mission is a cornerstone in the daily operations
at the gardens.
“We like to not think of (the mission) as something you write
out and file on the shelf,” Clark said. “We try to live that out
and fulfill it with an environmental ethic.”
The gardens offer several opportunities to community members,
including volunteering positions, classes and horticulture
instruction, as well as providing a community for like-minded
people to share their hobby. Clark has been happy with the
“The response is not just in numbers, because we haven’t had a
lot of publicity,” Clark said. “More importantly people are
extremely enthusiastic and supportive.”
The gardens have already registered at least 150 volunteers,
While the gardens are still in developmental stages, they
currently offer “Health, Healing and Horticulture” classes and a
greenhouse with instructional services, as well as community garden
plots for purchase. The greenhouse is accessible to handicapped
citizens. It also serves as a facility to show Fort Collins
residents what types of plants they can successfully grow in their
Eventually the gardens will also take part in agricultural
restoration along the Spring Creek Trail.
Robyn Dolgin is the horticulture program specialist and oversees
many of the activities held at the gardens.
Dolgin said the gardens have been working in partnership with
many organizations around the community, including CSU and Front
Range Community College.
The gardens offer not only instructional services to the
community, but they also offer volunteer and internship positions
Future services will include a fruit and vegetable garden, a
lawn garden area for acoustic concerts and a children’s garden.
“We consider ourselves to be a community-oriented botanical
garden,” Dolgin said. “We’re not so focused on the end result as
much as we are on the process of community participation.”