So many things serve as catalysts at the Gardens. The most important, of course, is Mother Nature. Changing light and temperature provokes massive changes throughout, from the inklings of crocus to the ripening of vegetables. Scientists nestled behind our greenhouses combine plant cells with a growing medium and a controlled environment to propagate an unlimited number of new plants. Classes, from the New Gardener Boot Camp to Botanic Illustration, stimulate all kinds of projects for countless people. Events change lives. I can’t tell you how many people talk to me about concerts they’ve attended at the Gardens, even many years ago, that affected them deeply. Then there is art, that creative human expression that sparks conversation and insight. We are fortunate to celebrate the work of numerous Colorado artists this year, each with well-defined visions and approaches, with Catalyst: Colorado Sculpture. You will be proud of their work, as their portfolios have international impact and import. And as we consider catalysts, my mind always goes back to those who came before and built the foundation of what we have today. The indomitable Dr. Moras Shubert, who served on the board of trustees from 1951 until his passing at age 100 late last year, was responsible for so much of what we enjoy today. He focused us on trees and native plants, research and conservation. Moras was coming up with new ideas right until the end. One of our other early horticulture leaders, Joe Oppe, was also a trailblazer, helping us take an empty canvas and create something of lasting beauty. He passed earlier this year, even as his work here and at numerous other public gardens endures. So it’s the year of Catalyst. A beginning. A creative flashpoint. May it serve as a catalyst for something special in your life.
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