Guest Columns

Riley-Chetwynd: DBG extendS beyond plants to art and entertainment

Denver Botanic Gardens is Colorado Proud!

The Colorado Statesman

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Cliché, perhaps… but true. Colorado has seen a lot of change since its establishment as a state, but certain elements remain constant: a pioneering spirit, a connection to the land and a tendency to be at the center of things (and not just geographically, lest we be subjected to any fly-over-state jabs).

For more than 60 years, Denver Botanic Gardens has had the privilege of showcasing much of what makes Coloradans proud. Yes, Columbines are a perennial sprinkling throughout the Gardens. But there’s more to our representation of the Centennial State. Some highlights:

• Denver Botanic Gardens is the fifth largest (by attendance and operating budget) botanic gardens in the country — the largest in the West.

• The Gardens is a leading botanical and mycological (read: mushrooms) research institute and an accredited museum.

• We play an important role in water conservation education and awareness, serving as an official precipitation-monitoring site and inspiring water-wise gardening and irrigation practices through our low-water-use and even no-water-use gardens.

• We link the state to the other semi-arid “steppe” climates around the world — Patagonia, South Africa and Mongolia — through our leadership on biodiversity and plant conservation research projects.

This beautiful area at Denver Botanic Gardens inspires water-wise and irrigation practices through low-water-use and even no-water-use gardens.

• Working with Denver Housing Authority, the Gardens spearheads an urban farming initiative that stands to be replicated in cities across the country.

The Botanic Gardens in Denver play an important role in water conservation education and awareness, serving as an official precipitation-monitoring site.

Our Colorado showcase extends beyond plants to art and entertainment. This year, the Gardens’ featured outdoor art exhibit called “Catalyst: Colorado Sculpture” includes the works of 12 Colorado artists, each with his or her own re-definition of the landscape through sculpture. The artwork introduces a variety of color, texture and form into an already rich environment. Participating artists include Emmett Culligan, Kim Dickey, Linda Fleming, Nancy Lovendahl, Terry Maker, Robert Mangold, Patrick Marold, Andy Miller, Pard Morrison, Carl Reed, Yoshitomo Saito and James Surls.

The Gardens highlight biodiversity and plant conservation through research projects.
Photos courtesy of Denver Botanic Gardens

And if it’s Colorado-proud entertainment you seek, check out Boots, Bulls and Blossoms on August 29. This ticketed event for 21-and-overs features award-winning fiddle music from Katie Glassman, special Colorado-themed appetizers and beer selections from local breweries. Cowboy boots optional. And yes, both a Brahma bull and a longhorn will be in attendance for up-close and personal photo ops.

Jennifer Riley-Chetwynd is the director of Marketing and PR at the Denver Botanic Gardens. To learn more about their events, exhibits and everyday offerings celebrating the Colorado spirit, visit www.botanicgardens.org.