We have all heard the phrase that perennials ‘sleep’ in year one, ‘creep’ in year two, and ‘leap’ in year three! Audubon Rockies’ Habitat Hero program follows that same philosophy. Last year, our first year, we were establishing our roots if you will, and so far this year we are beyond ecstatic to announce that 132 volunteers helped plant over 2,250 plants in Larimer and Weld Counties in Northern Colorado this spring! What will year three look like when we are leaping? Hopefully these planting event stories inspire you to join us at future planting events!
River’s Edge Natural Area
On May 7, we had one heck of a hardy volunteer crew, 71 strong, come out and join in this large planting endeavor. It was certainly the kind of Saturday where most people would want to pull the covers up and hit the snooze button, rather than venturing outside. With winds whipping, drizzle spattering and temperatures hovering in the 40’s - despite the dreariness of the day and pending afternoon storms, our volunteers were chipper, hard-working and efficient! We planted 2,000 showy and swamp milkweed around Sandpiper and Bass ponds at River’s Edge Natural Area. This project was a collaboration between Audubon Rockies, the City of Loveland and the Loveland Initiative for Monarch Butterflies and of course the enthusiastic volunteers willing to spend the start of their weekend with us! To read more about this event, check out the article featured in the Loveland Reporter Herald.
Want to visit River’s Edge Natural Area?
960 West 1st Street, Loveland CO 80537
Check out the plantings at various locations around Sandpiper and Bass ponds. With almost 4 miles of natural-surface trails, fishing access, wildlife viewing, and picnic shelters it is a must-see attraction in Loveland for the whole family.
For these 35 volunteers, the sun was shining, a cool breeze in the morning air, and soil under our fingernails made us all appreciate the beauty of a community planting event. The vision of Habitat Hero community planting events is to connect with other like-minded folks, while enjoying a beautiful day outside doing something positive for our community and wildlife, and restoring our joy in nature! On June 3, Audubon Rockies partnered with Boys & Girls Clubs of Weld County and the West Greeley Conservation District to plant 200 native plants at Houston Gardens – our largest Habitat Hero demonstration garden planting project in size!
Want to visit Houston Gardens?
515 23rd Ave, Greeley, CO 80634
A botanic garden oasis awaits you! Traverse gardens representing a variety of Colorado lifezones from prairie to foothills to montane. The Habitat Hero demonstration garden is located just a quick walk from the parking lot, heading north across from the gazebo pond. The brightly colored interpretive sign highlights all of the plant species found in the garden and if you want a guided tour, join us on Saturday, June 25 for the Greeley Garden Tour where staff and Master Gardeners will guide you through the gardens.
Loveland Youth Gardeners
In just a week, since our last planting event, the weather went from feeling of spring to blistering summer, by 10am the temps read into the 80’s and our 26 volunteers were gulping water and lathering on the sunscreen. Audubon Rockies partnered with Loveland Youth Gardeners and Loveland Initiative for Monarch Butterflies in which we planted 58 native plants as part of a showy pollinator-garden that offers both beauty and function. These plants are a combination of Habitat Hero Birdwatcher Pre-Planned Gardens from High Country Gardens, and milkweed plants. The pre-planned garden is a mix of perennials, shrubs and ornamental grasses including Golden Currant, Sand Cherry, Penstemons, Salvias and Hyssops to name a few. All are drought resistant and bird and pollinator magnets, a must for any wildlife-enthusiast gardener!
Want to visit Loveland Youth Gardeners?
907 S. Lincoln Ave., Loveland, CO 80537
This non-profit is dedicated to cultivating skills and promoting service and stewardship through sustainable gardening and healthy living practices.
For More Information
Members of the community have the opportunity to lend a helping hand in shaping the place where they live by planting a garden in an area of town that needs some sprucing up – whether a park or a roadway median. We partner with city agencies, schools, nurseries, Home Owner Associations, Community Supported Agriculture programs, and other municipalities to plant Habitat Hero Demonstration Gardens that offer both environmental benefits and are aesthetically pleasing. To partner with Audubon Rockies for a demonstration garden, contact Jamie Weiss, Habitat Hero Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.