Things to do in Denver: Denver Botanic Gardens
To escape from bustling city life and reconnect with nature, there’s no better place in Denver than the Botanic Gardens. The Gardens have a few locations, but the York Street gardens near Cheesman Park are their main attraction. The York Street gardens contain the largest collection of plants from cold temperature climates in North America.
The story of Denver’s Botanic Gardens starts in 1951. First installed at City Park, the gardens moved to their current home near Cheesman Park in 1959. The Waring York Street Mansion – another fascinating attraction in the Gardens – was donated as its headquarters. The Denver Botanic Gardens were designed by the same architect who did Red Rock Amphitheater and Washington Park.
The York Street location is the Denver Botanic Gardens’ main attraction, but it’s spread to other locations in the surrounding area. The Gardens also run the Chatfield Farms homestead in Littleton, the Mount Goliath alpine garden train near Mount Evans, and the Plains Conservation Center in Aurora.
Gardens with a Scientific and Artistic Mission
Stewardship and protection of the environment are the underpinning values at the Denver Botanic Gardens. Visitors can view plant species from around Colorado and the Western United States in rotating exhibits. Educating the community about local plants is central to the Gardens’ mission.
While promoting local sustainability is integral to the Denver Botanic Gardens, they’re known for diversity as well. There are seven major plant collections within the York Street grounds, ranging from tropical to aquatic to steppe plants. Visitors can also check out the Xeriscape garden with Mediterranean fauna or the Shofu-en Japanese Garden.
In addition to their plant exhibits, the Denver Botanic Gardens have the Science Pyramid. Here, you can learn about local water conservation and other topics related to sustainability. The Gardens also support local artists by hosting art exhibits at their York Street and Chatfield Farms locations.
Events at the Gardens
Denver residents who can’t get enough of the Botanic Gardens can attend one of their special events or programs, put on throughout the year. They host free days, plant shows, and summer concerts. You can check their calendar online to see upcoming events.
The Gardens’ programs appeal to children and adults. Garden experts host workshops on cultivating and caring for plant life, people come together for a monthly book club, and the Therapeutic Horticulture program hosts sessions every Thursday. The Botanic Gardens always have events and programs on, no matter what time of year it is.
Denver’s Favorite Gardens
The Denver Botanic Gardens is an important part of the Denver community – not just because they draw in visitors, but because they promote sustainability and stewardship. The Gardens have a high standard for horticulture and conservation, supporting their mission with food programs, global initiatives, and water stewardship. Representatives from the Botanic Gardens even travel abroad to research and support their programs. More than just a place to see some pretty flowers, the Denver Botanic Gardens are a cherished institution.