Just as a butterfly transforms itself inside a chrysalis and emerges completely anew, the Gardens on Spring Creek is ready to break free this November from its two-year metamorphosis. The much-anticipated transformation has included changes to the community botanic garden’s indoor and outdoor spaces along with the construction of a permanent Butterfly House, the first of its kind in Northern Colorado.
New gardens include the Prairie, Foothills, Undaunted, Great Lawn, Theme (Plant Select, Rose, Moon, Fragrance, and Butterfly & Hummingbird), and Wetlands. Garden highlights include the largest collection of cold hearty cactus on display in the United States, the convergence of two eco-systems (Prairie and Foothills) to expose the beauty and function of native plants, and the gathering expanse of the Great Lawn and Everitt Pavilion, which will feature performing arts, events, rentals, and other gatherings.
New additions to the Visitor’s Center have doubled its square footage to serve an anticipated 125,000 annual visitors. The heart of the Visitor’s Center construction is the 1,500-square-foot Butterfly House, built in partnership with Butterfly Pavilion, the first stand-alone, Association of Zoos and Aquariums-accredited non-profit invertebrate zoo.
Residents can expect to experience the Butterfly House as a year-round home to hundreds of North American butterflies and dozens of varieties of flowering plants. This warm, sensory experience allows all ages to get “up close” to both butterflies and plants in a soothing environment. Other attractions in the house include a chrysalis window, a 220-square-foot living wall, and meandering pathways.
In anticipation of re-opening, new admission, membership, scholarship, and accessibility programs have been planned in addition to expanded programming, classes, events, and tours. For timely updates on the Gardens on Spring Creek’s grand opening, please visit www.fcgov.com/gardens.
By the Numbers:
Year opened: 2004
Location: 2145 Centre Ave.
Acres: 18 (12 developed)
Total project cost: $6 million
Expansion Groundbreaking: November 2017
Visitor’s Center square footage: 9,740 square feet
Visitor’s Center project team: Architecture West, Elder Construction, City of Fort Collins
Garden expansion size: 5 acres
Garden expansion project team: Russell + Mills Studios, Krische Construction, City of Fort Collins
Anticipated 2020 visitation: 100,000 visitors