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Yampa River Botanic Park

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In fifteen years the Yampa River Botanic Park sprang from a flat horse pasture to a six acre gem of ponds, berms, and over 40 gardens. It is one of the jewels of Northwest Colorado and one of the few botanic parks in the state.

The Park is on land owned by the City of Steamboat Springs. However the facility is 100% directed and funded by an independent volunteer board of directors who oversee the Park's operations and raise funds through donations, sponsorships, memberships, and grants. No public funds are directed to the Park.

The land was originally donated by Bob and Audrey Enever to the City, and they were instrumental in its construction. Bob oversaw the placement of over 10,000 cubic yards of soil, the installation of a pond, roads, and a stream. Audrey played a major role in the design and planting of the gardens. They are still intimately involved with the operation of the Park. After a successful capital campaign in 2010 we dedicated a beautiful building to house offices, meetings, and most importantly bathrooms for our visitors.

Turning a Horse Pasture into a Botanic Park

The Yampa River Botanic Park is an innovative, perhaps unique, experiment in private/public development and maintenance of a public botanical facility. The 5 acre park sits on land donated to the City of Steamboat Springs for that purpose. The Park is maintained by an Association, a volunteer organization that was set up by City Ordinance. The Association is authorized to manage the Park, raise funds, hire staff and design and create gardens and infrastructure.

History of the Park

The Park originated from a gift of 5 acres of land from Bob and Audrey Enever to the City in 1992. The land was then a flat horse pasture. Another acre of wetland was subsequently added.

The idea of botanic gardens was then somewhat foreign to a ranching and tourism community. Public meetings in 1993 identified goals for the Park, which are incorporated in the Association's mission. The Mission is to create and maintain a place of serenity celebrating the trees, shrubs, plants and birds of the Yampa River Basin and to encourage the conservation of plants native to Northwest Colorado.

In the period 1994-2000 the Enevers designed and created the Park. They built the berms that have provided visual separation and micro-climates. They built the ponds, the roads and legally acquired water rights and the supply ditch. They installed an irrigation system, planted 500 trees and built, planted and maintained the early gardens. They also endowed a fund that provides financial stability to the Association and the Park. Their efforts are supported by a Board of Directors that has become increasingly active as the Community has become more engaged in the Park. The Enevers still work in and for the Park, but the Board makes all the decisions.

On September 9th the City of Steamboat Springs awarded the Enevers the City's Heritage Award, which is awarded only every two years to people who have made a huge contribution to the community. They certainly earned it!!!

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Details and Specs

Hours of Operation: Not Listed
Notes: None Listed


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