locations + Denver Botanic Gardens
hours 1007 York Street Through Mid-May 2015: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. daily
Denver, CO 80206 Closed: Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day
Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield
8500 W. Deer Creek Canyon 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. daily
Littleton, CO 80128 Closed: Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day
M. Walter Pesman Trail at Mount Goliath
Forest Services Clear Creek Visitor Center Denver
Idaho Springs (Exit 240 from 1-70)
Open daily in the summer
admission Denver Botanic Gardens
$12.50 General Admission
$9 Students and youth 3-15
Free Members and kids under 3
$30 Per bus (31 + passengers)
Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield
$5 Per car
$8 Per bus (6-15 passengers)
$15 per bus (16-30 passengers)
mission The mission of Denver Botanic Gardens is to connect people with plants, especially plants from the Rocky Mountain region and similar regions around the world, providing delight and enlightenment to everyone. Denver Botanic Gardens is an audience-engaged platform for producing conversation, ideas, community and creativity around plant life, in order to be a leader of local necessity and international distinction. Sustainable best practices and conservation efforts are a priority for the Gardens. The Gardens also seeks to unite science and art and regularly presents indoor and outdoor art exhibitions.
history Members of the Colorado Forestry and Horticulture Association incorporated as the non-profit Botanical Gardens Foundation of Denver in 1951. In 1952, the City of Denver designated 100 acres in City Park as the site for Denver Botanical Gardens (as it was called in the early 1950s) which were formally dedicated in 1954. However, the Gardens were unfenced and 'night diggers' stole and trampled plants. By 1958, the combined efforts of private citizens and the City and County of Denver set forth a plan that transformed an old cemetery located on York Street into one of the country's largest botanic gardens. In 1959, Ruth Waring donated the mansion at 909 York Street to the Gardens. In 1966, the Boettcher Memorial Tropical Conservatory was dedicated and allowed the Gardens to become a year-round attraction. Located in the middle of the Mile High City, Denver Botanic Gardens was one of the first gardens in the country to emphasize native plants and to champion environmentally responsible practices, such as water conservation and biological control of pests.
collection Denver Botanic Gardens displays more than 34,000 plants in 2,143 genera and 265 families, from more than 90 countries. The Orchid collection contains nearly 800 species; the Bromeliad collection contains 879 species; there are 20,680 Fungi specimens; and 33,000 sheets of Angiosperms. The M. Walter Pesman Trail at Mount Goliath contains thousands of wildflowers and animals of the fragile subalpine and alpine tundra, and a forest of 1,500-year-old bristlecone pines.
education Denver Botanic Gardens has a strong commitment to its role as an educator for all ages. The Gardens’ commitment to engaging a broad and diverse audience is evident in the variety of exciting programs offered: adult classes and workshops; lectures; symposia; garden tours; as well as imaginative children’s classes, day camps and family workshops.
research The Research Department works with Colorado’s most rare and imperiled plants through surveys, monitoring, genetic analysis and seed collection. Through collaborations with the University of Denver and The Nature Conservancy, the Gardens is helping to restore thousands of acres of habitat along rivers in both Eastern and Western Colorado. Research is being done to understand what management practices promote native vegetation to come back. The Gardens also conducts research to address the climate change crisis, through seed collection and documentation. The Sam Mitchel Herbarium of Fungi houses over 24,000 accessions of dried preserved specimens of Rocky Mountain mushrooms. This collection is the most diverse, extensive, well-documented collection of fleshy fungi in the Rocky Mountain region. The Kathryn Kalmbach Herbarium houses approximately 48,000 specimens that represent the southern Rocky Mountains.
community Denver Botanic Gardens launched the Urban Botanical University and Soul 2 Soil to guide instruction – be it hands-on, classroom-based or via e-learning platforms – of urban agricultural best practices. Using Urban Botanical University, members of our Horticulture Department oversee the teaching and management of vegetable gardens at Mariposa, a new Denver Housing Authority (DHA) development. The Gardens also runs a produce distribution program at Mariposa and provided 1,100 pounds of fresh produce to DHA residents in 2013.
Denver Botanic Gardens has operated a community garden since 1981, and the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program that launched in 2010 was the first offered by a botanic garden. More than 500 families enjoy fresh, locally or self-grown produce with the CSA’s 350-plus subscribers and more than 150 Community Gardens’ gardeners. Nearly one ton of vegetables from the CSA and 900 pounds from the Community Gardens were donated to food banks and other distribution programs in 2013.
The Chatfield Veteran Reintegration Program began in 2013. Volunteer participants work at a five-acre Community Supporting Agriculture (CSA) farm at Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield. The mission of the program is to support the vocational, social, physical and therapeutic goals of post 9/11 military veterans through the application of sustainable farming techniques in a community setting.
The 16th Street Mall Garden Block is a catalytic project for the revitalization and continued success of Denver’s premiere public space. As a partnership between the Downtown Denver Business Improvement District and Denver Botanic Gardens, the Garden Block will create a unique destination on the Mall and for all of downtown Denver.
operations Staff size: 100 full-time staff
Average annual attendance: 850,000
Membership: approximately 28,000 members
land size Denver Botanic Gardens 24 acres
Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield 750 acres
building size Conservatory 12,800 sq ft
Greenhouses 15,500 sq ft
Education Building 39,178 sq ft
Morrison Center 2,800 sq ft
Waring House 5,830 sq ft
Chatfield 15,151 sq ft total of all buildings