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Special Events



2018 Pollinator Summit

Colorado Pollinator Summit - Building Living Landscapes

The third annual Colorado Pollinator Summit convened by the Colorado Pollinator Network brings together nationally and regionally recognized pollinator experts to present and discuss strategies for protecting and managing land to support pollinators in Colorado. This Summit is designed for organizations, agencies, businesses, professionals, educators, growers, land managers, researchers and volunteers actively working to conserve and protect pollinators and their habitats.

Colorado Pollinator Network was established in 2016, with a mission to bring organizations together to work collaboratively to conserve, protect and create pollinator habitat while educating communities across the state of Colorado to protect our pollinators. The Network allows for organizations and individuals throughout Colorado to collaborate to make a positive impact on the health of our state pollinators. This group shares information about the best practices, resources and knowledge to support education initiatives, conservation, restoration and creation of habitat and research on pollinators in the state.


$40, includes all programming and lunch



Plenary Session


9:15-10 a.m.

Living Landscapes for Human Health and Wellbeing

Since ancient times, people believed that nature held restorative power, and this belief helped drive the development of our great urban park systems in the 19th century. At the same time, the industrial revolution relied on a functional view that the value of nature consists of the material resources we extract. This talk shares a burgeoning new field of research that has come into its own with the beginning of the 21st century. Accumulating evidence reveals that our health relies on the natural world for more than material goods: We require elements of nature like trees and gardens around us for multiple dimensions of our happiness and the performance of daily tasks. A number of studies show that people benefit from biodiversity, specifically, in their surroundings. This evidence challenges us to rethink how we communicate the value of pollinators and the living landscapes on which we, as well as other species, depend for our wellbeing.


10-10:45 a.m.

The Natural History of Colorado s Native Bees: Informing conservation through ecological research

Native bees are arguably some of Colorado s most important pollinators and while they have captured the attention of both scientists and citizens alike, remain somewhat poorly understood. Because native bees are extremely diverse, their conservation poses a multifaceted problem, requiring a great deal of knowledge about not only their diversity, but also their biologies, natural histories and distributions. Fortunately, with one of the most diverse bee faunas in the US, Colorado has a long history of research on native bee ecology, evolution and diversity. However, comprehensive studies on bee communities across space and time in Colorado are rare and make determining the status of local bee community dynamics difficult.

Dr. Adrian Carper, studying Colorado s native bees through the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History, has a unique view into the role of research in pollinator conservation here in Colorado. He will review some of the history of Colorado bee research, identify areas in need of future research and summarize his contemporary research aimed at understanding how human land-use practices impact wild bee communities. In addition, he will use examples from his and other research to explore how building ecological knowledge, both within the scientific community and the public, can help inform wild bee conservation in Colorado and beyond.


11-11:45 a.m.

Designing for Diversity with Urban Pollinators

Much of the current momentum behind saving the bees is directed towards honey bees; they are the poster child for the bee movement, but only represent a small portion of our bees. With 950+ species in Colorado alone, we need to diversify our efforts, especially in urban areas where the diversity of pollinator habitat brings additional benefits to many ecosystems. Cities are a mosaic, and our integrative efforts must account for existing land uses of all types, including underutilized parts of the city. This summer, CU Boulder ENVD students installed the first of many parking lot habitats for native bees on city lots, and are testing theories to derive best management and planting practices. This talk will cover why parking lots can be a turning point for pollinator habitat, transferable practices any city can engage in, the necessity of partnerships and media, and how innovative curriculum adaptations are helping to change the landscape of academia and practice.


11:45-12:30 p.m.

Colorado State Agency Panel   Building Pollinator Habitat on State Lands

As the second largest landowner next to the federal government, there is great potential to manage Colorado state-owned lands in a way that protects and enhances habitat for pollinators. The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Parks & Wildlife (CPW) are innovating approaches to pollinator habitat management by revising policies, maintenance practices and by building public private partnerships. Learn about this important work, including a special report on the pilot I-76 Pollinator Highway planting project in Julesburg from state department leaders Michael Banovich, CDOT Landscape Architecture Section Manager, Madeleine West, DNR Deputy Director and a representative of CPW.


Breakout Session Panels

1:30-3 p.m.


Planting the Seeds of Change: Educating stewards of tomorrow

To increase awareness of pollinators and their importance in our lives, it is necessary to connect with audiences of all ages through diverse forms of outreach. These speakers share effective ways to excite people about pollinators in schools, museums and their own yards.

  • Louise Chawla, Ph.D, University of Colorado - Moderator
  • Rebecca Coon, Exhibit and Program Developer, University of Colorado Museum of Natural History
  • Jessica Goldstrohm, Owner and Head Educator, The Bees Waggle
  • Chrissy Maedke, Teacher, Gold Hill School
  • Lisa Mason, Ph.D., Extension Agent - Horticulture, CSU Extension, Arapahoe County


Crafting Pollinator Habitats: Building living landscapes

Landscapes big or small, urban or rural, can support pollinators. The key is to design, plant and maintain pollinator habitats so that they sustainably thrive over time. These speakers all have experience incorporating habitat for pollinators and other wildlife in a variety of environments and can share insights to ensure your pollinator habitat project is a success.

  • Amy Yarger, Horticulture Director, Butterfly Pavilion - Moderator
  • Susan Hansen, NRCS, Lamar, CO, United States Department of Agriculture
  • Jim Tolstrup, Executive Director, High Plains Environmental Center
  • John Vickery, Colorado Native Plant Society
  • Kate Hogan,Community Outreach, Denver Audubon


Creating Change at the Local Level: Policy from the ground up

Local governments and universities manage large amounts of land and each organization has its own approach. Learn how Denver, Fort Collins, Boulder and the University of Denver promote biodiversity, protect natural lands, create urban habitat and encourage the public to interact with nature. Panelists will share pollinator-protection practices and programs and discuss how local residents and grassroots organizations can support and join local efforts. Come away with ideas about how you can make a difference in your own community.

  • Rella Abernathy, Ph.D., City of Boulder - Moderator
  • BeeChicas, Education and Outreach, Boulder, CO
  • Justin Scharton, Senior Environmental Planner, Nature in the City Program Manager, City of Fort Collins Natural Areas
  • Kelly Uhing, Program Manager, Denver Parks, Natural Resources Operations
  • Julie Morris, Ph.D., Teaching Associate Professor, University of Denver

After Dark Corn Maze

The lights are out in the maze and brave visitors can find their way through with only the light of a glow stick.

Note: this maze is not haunted.

Masks and costumes are not permitted on the premises.

·Tickets are date specific and non-refundable.

·Event is rain, snow or shine.

Gates open at 7 p.m. End times listed are last ticket sold. Events close 1 hour after time listed.


Beginning Farmers Core Curriculum & Hands-On Workshops



Are you interested in growing and selling vegetables but don’t know where to start? Denver Botanic Gardens and Colorado State University Extension have partnered to develop a certificate program that will introduce you to the ins and outs of becoming a successful market farmer on five acres or less.


By participating in this program, you will attend seven core curriculum lectures that will cover everything from planning your farm to selling at market. You will also apply what you have learned in the classroom on working farms during five hands-on workshops. Finally, you will have the opportunity to choose up to four advanced, elective classes that cover innovative topics such as seed saving and season extension. Lecture classes and workshops will take place on Fridays, 9-noon and electives will take place in the evening.


Staff from our program will work with you to help find hands-on experiences at local farms. This may take the form of a regular volunteer shift, an internship or an apprenticeship. If you have your own farm already up and running, DBG or CSU Extension staff can work with you over the growing season on any issues or questions that arise.



To complete the certificate you must:

- Attend all Core Curriculum (7 total) & Hands-On Workshops (5 total)

- Attend a minimum of 2 Elective courses (4 offered in 2019, register individually)

- Complete all courses within the 2018-2019 calendar year


All Core Curriculum lecture classes take place at the CSU Extension office located at:

Colorado State University-Denver Extension

888 E. Iliff Avenue
Denver, CO 80210


All Hands-On Workshops will be located an offsite location/farm. Directions and locations will be communicated with students the week before class.


All Beginning Farmers Elective courses will take place at Denver Botanic Gardens located at:

Denver Botanic Gardens

909 York St.
Denver, CO 802016


To register for the Beginning Farmers Certificate Course students will register separately for the Beginning Farmers Core Curriculum & for each of your desired Beginning Farmers Elective courses.


For registration questions please contact the Education Department at adult.programs@botanicgardens.org

For program inquiries including specific dates and program content and information about applying for a scholarship, please contact Brien Darby at Brien.Darby@botanicgardens.org


Program Overview


CORE CURRICULUM (must complete all)


October 26, 2018
Introduction to the Realities of Farming: Farm Design, Record Keeping, Scale and Site Selection

This course serves as the introduction to the Beginning Farmers program. We will cover the skills and knowledge necessary to design a farm that meets your goals and discuss how good record keeping can help you stay in business.


November 2, 2018
Crop Planning and Scheduling

In this class, you will learn how to plan for a successful three-season harvest.


November 9, 2018
Soils, Fertility and Plant Nutrition

It all starts with the soil! In this class, you will learn how to identify soil type, troubleshoot potential problem soils and manage your soil to ensure healthy plants.


November 16, 2018
On Farm Food Safety

In this class, we will cover how to design and run your farm to minimize the risks associated with foodborne diseases.


November 30, 2018
Managing Employees, Volunteers and the Customer

Managing people can be difficult. This class will cover some techniques and strategies to best manage the different types of interactions you need to master and run a successful farming business.


December 7, 2018
Vegetable Crop Insect Pests

In this class, you will learn how to identify and manage the major vegetable insect pests.


December 14, 2018
Vegetable Crop Plant Pathogens and abiotic disorders

In this class, you will learn how to identify and manage the major vegetable pathogens in vegetables as well as many of the common abiotic issues that you will encounter in Colorado.


WORKSHOPS (must complete all)


March 15, 2019
Greenhouse Propagation
Chatfield Farms, 8500 W. Deer Creek Canyon Rd., Littleton, CO 80128

Growing healthy plants starts in the greenhouse. During this workshop, you will be introduced to the materials, equipment and techniques needed to start and finish a large variety of vegetable crops.


April 12, 2019
Soil Management and Compost
Micro Farms Colorado, 8090 W. 19th Ave, Lakewood, CO 80214

Building on the soils lecture, this workshop takes a more in-depth look at overall soil health and a farmer’s responsibility to be a good steward to the land. Compost will also be covered during this workshop.


May 17th, 2019
Tools and Irrigation Field Day
ARDEC South, 4300 E County Rd 50, Fort Collins, CO 80524

Join us at a teaching farm to try out a variety of engine- and hand-powered tools. Other hands-on topics include assembling drip irrigation systems and crop transplanting.


June 21, 2019
Vegetable Pests
Micro Farms Colorado, 8090 W. 19th Ave, Lakewood, CO 80214

During this workshop, you will build on the vegetable pests lectures and get a first-hand view of insects, weeds and pathogens as well as practicing mitigation strategies.


July 19, 2019
Micro Farms Colorado, 8090 W. 19th Ave, Lakewood, CO 80214

This workshop will provide techniques for harvesting the full range of vegetable crops as well as cleaning, preparing and implementing cold storage for harvested produce.



ELECTIVES (Must complete 2 of 4 courses):

Topics TBD, will take place August-September of 2019



Blossoms Of Light

**Tickets must be used on the date listed on the ticket. Enter within a one-hour window starting at the time listed.**

If tickets are sold out online tickets will not be available at the door.

Ticket Printing: You must present a ticket for admission to Blossoms of Light. Once your online purchase is complete, you will receive an email confirmation with a multi-page PDF attachment titled “Tickets” . Please print your tickets! Members and guests without tickets will have to wait in the on-site ticket purchase line at the event to check in. Confirmations and receipts will not be accepted as proof of purchase.


Group Tickets: Groups of 15 or more may purchase tickets at a discounted rate by calling 720-865-3500.


Military Tickets: May be purchased onsite, if available, with valid ID or by calling 720-865-3500.


The Gardens’ signature event for over three decades, this annual holiday lights extravaganza transforms our York Street location into a twinkling winter wonderland. With fresh and exciting new features, along with some fan favorites, this year’s display will be brighter and more expansive than ever before. Join us for this family-friendly event that has become a holiday tradition for thousands of Front Range families.


Bumblebee Jamboree

Sing along and dance to original and traditional songs, express yourself, laugh and play. This family-friendly indoor concert is fun for all. Enjoy this interactive experience with children ages 0 12 and their parents. Children can dress as their favorite pollinator such as a bird, bee or butterfly.


June 18 - Steve Weeks

Colorado Springs-based musician, performs with both a sense of humor and a goal to not only entertain, but educate his young audience. His acoustic-based songs are layered with unusual percussion sounds including pans and tinker toys. The musical styles vary from reggae to bluegrass to folk-hop and the heart of each song is an outlandish story or touching tale.

Corn Maze

Wind your way through seven acres of corn. The maze can be viewed from two 15-foot tall illuminated bridges. Visitors under the age of 10 can explore the mini-maze.

In an effort to reduce waste, printed maps will not be available at the mazes.

Tickets include one hayride, barrel train ride (for children 12 and under) and unlimited jumping on a giant pillow. Pony rides and hamster balls are available for an additional fee. An array of food vendors sell favorite fall foods such as funnel cakes, hotdogs, freshly squeezed lemonade and kettle corn.

Members receive complimentary admission tickets based on membership level and may use them Sept. 21-23 or Sept. 28-30Online ticket redemption is required. 

Membership Levels

Individual and Individual Plus: 2 complimentary tickets

Friends & Family: 6 complimentary tickets

Gardens Plus and above: 8 complimentary tickets

·Tickets are date specific and non-refundable.

·Event is rain, snow or shine.

Pumpkin Festival is Oct. 12-14. Discounted Corn Maze tickets can be added for an additional $8 per adult or child and may be purchased online when you purchase Pumpkin Festival tickets.

PLEASE NOTE: On Friday­ and Saturday, Oct. 12-13, between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m., and on Sunday, Oct. 14 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., you will need to purchase a ticket to Pumpkin Festival to gain entry to Corn Maze.


Dead Zone Scream Park

Dead Zone Scream Park includes admission into Corn Stalkers Haunted Maze and After Dark Maze. Recommended for ages 13 and up.

Masks and costumes are not permitted on the premises.

·Tickets are date specific and non-refundable.

·Event is rain, snow or shine.

Gates open at 7 p.m. End times listed are last ticket sold. Events close 1 hour after time listed.


Ghosts in the Gardens

Denver Botanic Gardens dares you to join us after dark! At our annual Ghosts in the Gardens Tours, our guides will lead you through one of four separate ghost tours. Each tour guide will tell haunting stories of the Gardens' one hundred years of history and illustrate points of interest inside and outside what used to be called The Boneyard. Each tour will be unique and subjects will include actual staff ghost stories, real overnight security staff ghost encounters, and intriguing history (including access to the Waring House Mansion that is not open to the public). So conjure your courage and capture your fear as you walk our dark paths after hours and dare the night, here at Denver Botanic Gardens' Ghosts in the Gardens Tours.


Pricing $31, $27 member


Special Instructions:

Be prepared for a lot of walking outdoors and indoors.

Dress accordingly for the weather.

Children 12-years old and older are welcomed. This tour is not recommended for younger children.

Children are the responsibility of their parents at all times.

Part of the tour (the Waring House) is not wheelchair accessible.

Glow At The Gardens Admission

**Tickets must be used on the date listed on the ticket. Enter within a one-hour window starting at the time listed.**


Ticket Printing: You must present a ticket for admission to Glow at the Gardens. Once your online purchase is complete, you will receive an email confirmation with a multi-page PDF attachment titled Tickets  . Please print your tickets! Members and guests without tickets will have to wait in the on-site ticket purchase line at the event to check in. Confirmations and receipts will not be accepted as proof of purchase.


Group Tickets: Groups of 15 or more may purchase tickets at a discounted rate by calling 720-865-3500.

The Gardens dresses up for Halloween with luminaria-lined pathways, spooky lighting displays and hundreds of carved, glowing gourds.

Using all real pumpkins harvested from local farms, our pumpkin artists push the boundaries of traditional pumpkin carving to create larger-than-life sculptures, dense displays of jack-o-lanterns and ornately detailed showpiece pumpkins. Enjoy spooky storytelling, hands-on crafts, games, cash bars, seasonal café specials and of course, a little trick-or-treating at this festive fall event.

Seasonal food and beverages are available for purchase


Santa's Village at Chatfield Farms

Santa and his friends are moving to Chatfield Farms in November! Chatfield Farms will be transformed into a magical village. Join us for a new and exciting holiday experience for all ages. Hop on the hayride to catch a short movie at Santa's cinema and find unique holiday gifts in his workshop.

Tickets are limited each night. Purchase in advance to ensure admittance on your desired date.

$60 for a 4-Pack (call 720-865-3500 to purchase 4-Packs)

Admission includes:

-Meet Santa's live reindeer

-Kids get pictures with Santa, Snow Man and the reindeer

-Craft with Mrs. Claus

-Holiday lights

-One hayride

-Santa³ Cinema on Elf Boulevard

-Santa's Workshop will include craft vendors


Tibetan Singing Bowls Concert

The Denver Botanic Gardens will be hosting its annual Tibetan Singing Bowls Concert to help you relax and get away from all of the holiday stress. Tibetan singing bowls are musical instruments that have been used for thousands of years to promote healing. Bring your yoga mat, a blanket, and your cluttered mind for a relaxing night of sound healing.


Denver yoga instructor and sound healer Chris Anne Coviello and her husband Jason Coviello will be performing together in this warming winter concert. The concert will begin with Jason playing his Hang Drum, which is a very rare steel drum that some say sounds like a stringed instrument. Jason’s Hang Drum is tuned to notes that vibrationally correspond to the heart chakra. When you hear this drum, you will be taken on a heart-opening journey.


Jason and Chris Anne will then begin playing the Tibetan singing bowls, which are tuned to musical notes that correspond to the different chakras of the body – restoring your balance of energy. Since the body is made up of mostly water, the vibrational effect of the Tibetan singing bowls feels like a full body cellular massage.


So come, relax, close your eyes, and drift into a state of calm. Make sure to wear comfortable clothes and bring a yoga mat or blanket so that you may lie down. As your chakras re-align, breathe peace and enter the profound state of physical, mental, and emotional well-being.


Price: $18, $15 members

Special Instructions: No children under twelve years of age are permitted in this program. Talking, cell phones, and other distractions are not permitted.

Treat Yourself Tuesdays - Holiday From Days Long Past - At Cherokee Ranch and Castle


Cherokee Ranch and Castle welcomes you to a delightful holiday celebration! Tour the castle in all its holiday splendor explore traditions from years long ago. Create a decoration for your home and sample old European fare while listening to festive music.

Price: $55, $50 members, includes all materials

Instructor: Jeannine Colley


Cherokee Ranch and Castle

6113 N Daniels Park RD

Sedalia, CO 80135


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