Annual sunflowers in the Habitat Hero garden at Jack's Solar Garden with solar panels in the background.
Annual sunflowers in the Habitat Hero garden at Jack's Solar Garden with solar panels in the background.
Habitat Hero

New Solar Garden in Johnstown

Help us develop a bird-friendly model for solar energy.
Annual sunflowers at the Habitat Hero garden at Jack's Solar Garden. Photo: Evan Barrientos/Audubon Rockies
Annual sunflowers at the Habitat Hero garden at Jack's Solar Garden. Photo: Evan Barrientos/Audubon Rockies
Habitat Hero

New Solar Garden in Johnstown

Help us develop a bird-friendly model for solar energy.

About the New Solar Garden in Johnstown

For the past year, Cloudbreak Energy, a Colorado-based solar developer, has been working with farmers along the Front Range who are ready to introduce a new crop into their mix—sunshine. Due to Audubon Rockies’ success at Jack’s Solar Garden, Cloudbreak decided to reach out to us to plant another large-scale Habitat Hero garden around the perimeter of their solar array in Weld County.

The goal of this project is to plant several thousand bird-friendly native plants around the perimeter of the solar farm. By planting bird-friendly gardens, we can help reverse the biggest threats birds face: habitat loss from development and impacts from climate change. These mega planting projects have exciting, long-lasting effects on the health of local ecosystems. We are excited to be pioneering a way to balancing renewable energy with wildlife habitat on a large scale.

Habitat Hero at the New Solar Garden in Johnstown

To design the garden, Audubon Rockies has partnered with Chickadee Pine Designs LLC, an ecological landscape design company specializing in pollinator- and bird-friendly landscape habitats. Chickadee Pine designs gardens to be wild in nature, thus maintaining ecological functionality and requiring less maintenance. It also means their gardens are inherently drought tolerant and locally appropriate to their surroundings. 

The design for the new solar garden consists of thousands of native and regionally-appropriate plants that work in conjunction with solar panel installation and can be maintained and installed by volunteers.

Future site of the new solar garden in Johnstown. Photo: Evan Barrientos/Audubon Rockies
Future site of the new solar garden in Johnstown. Photo: Evan Barrientos/Audubon Rockies
Milkweed and solar panels at Jack's Solar Garden. Photo: Evan Barrientos/Audubon Rockies
Concept art of the new solar garden in Johnstown. Photo: Chickadee Pine Designs, LLC

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The pollinator habitat at the new solar garden will have several major benefits, including a positive impact on wildlife and birds, a chance to connect the community to nature, a reduction in carbon footprint, and the opportunity to be a model for other green industry leaders.

Project Timeline:

Fundraising campaign: October 1-31, 2021

Installation of Solar Arrays: Winter 2022

Planting: May 2022

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony: Fall 2022 or summer 2023

Donate

To make this ambitious project feasible, we need help from supporters like you. Funds donated during October 2021 will support the conceptual and architectural designs and earth moving at the garden. Your donation will not only help create bird habitat for years to come, it will also help us explore a new model for solar farms across the Front Range. We look forward to celebrating the garden and its financial supporters at a public ribbon-cutting ceremony in 2023, and would like to thank you in advance for your support in helping us plant a better world for birds and people!

Audubon Rockies is grateful to Cloudbreak Energy for sponsoring the solar garden in Johnstown.

How you can help, right now