How We Got Started
In 1994, the Western Colorado Botanical Gardens located at 655 Struthers Avenue, in Grand Junction, Colorado entered into a long-term lease with the City of Grand Junction for a 15-acre site along the Colorado River. Thousands of volunteer hours were donated to remove the acres of debris before construction could begin. The tropical greenhouse opened on November 8, 1997, before a crowd of 2,500 celebrants. Native butterflies were introduced in 1998 in the (Ashley Furniture) Butterfly House. The WCBG also has the Botanical Gift Shop that carries garden, butterfly, and Colorado-related gift items and books.
The WCBG is home to several specialty gardens including the Cactus Garden, Antique Rose Garden, Children’s Secret Garden, the Western Heritage Garden, Celebration Plaza, Japanese garden and the gardens that surround our buildings. The tropical rainforest and butterfly house showcase tropical plants and orchids as well as koi fish, turtles, tortoises, and butterflies. As the WCBG grows, more gardens will be developed.
Elizabeth Harris started the Western Colorado Botanical Gardens back in the 1990’s.
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Since then, it’s grown to be a staple on the Western Slope. It’s full of beautiful plants, flowers and artifacts that represent the history of the area.
Although Elizabeth has since stepped down from the board of directors, she still has an enormous impact on the gardens. She works directly with the Vice President of Development at STRiVE, Doug Sorter, who currently oversees the Botanical Gardens. One of her latest ideas is to bring the Colorado National Monument into the Botanical Gardens through sculpture. Although this idea isn’t in the works yet, it has the full support of Lee Borden, the Executive Director of the Western Colorado Center for the Arts.
Whatever comes next for the Botanical Gardens, Elizabeth’s main goal is rooted in the community, “Just to bring more knowledge, and a beautiful spectacle of growth for the people to see.”
For or more information on STRiVE you can click here for their website, and for more information on the Western Colorado Center for the Arts you can click here to visit their website.