Plant Conservation
& Research

Plant conservation is an integral part of Betty Ford Alpine Gardens. Our goal is to educate visitors about the deterioration of plant biodiversity around the world and particularly the vulnerability of the worlds high alpine flora.

Alpine Plant Conservation

At 8,200 feet on the Roof of the Rockies, Betty Ford Alpine Gardens is uniquely positioned to address conservation of the fragile alpine environment. The Gardens has partnered with Denver Botanic Gardens to author the North American Botanic Garden Strategy for Alpine Plant Conservation. Through a series of Objectives and Targets the goal of the strategy is to create a plan for protecting North America’s alpine plants.

Learn More

North American Botanic Garden Strategy for Alpine Plant Conservation

In Situ Conversation

Working with plants in their natural setting is always a priority

In Situ

Conversation

Working with plants in their natural setting is always a priority

Ex Situ Conversation

In contrast to work conducted in the wild population, ex situ efforts focus on creating conservation collection in the botanical garden setting, such as banking seed and propagation studies

Ex Situ

Conservation

In contrast to work conducted in the wild population, ex situ efforts focus on

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Outreach

Botanical Gardens are uniquely positioned to spread the word

Outreach

Botanical Gardens are uniquely positioned to spread the word

Education of children and families

 Educating children about mountain ecosystems is an important step in a lifetime of conservation

 

 

Our botanical gardens

We reach out to the public through breathtaking plant collections in our botanical gardens

 

Exhibits

Our exhibits allow people a special look into fragile mountain ecosystems and the work we do to protect these places. 

Global Efforts

In 2004 the Gran Canaria declaration set off a global movement

Global

Efforts

In 2004 the Gran Canaria declaration set off a global movement

Betty Ford Alpine Gardens staff are voluntary stewards who work with Colorado River Watch to monitor water quality and other indicators of Gore Creek watershed health. Data has been collected statewide since 1989 and is instrumental in crafting informed water resources policy in addition to educating citizens about the health of Colorado’s streams. River Watch is a statewide volunteer water quality-monitoring program operated by the nonprofit 501©3 Colorado Watershed Assembly in cooperation with Colorado Parks and Wildlife. There are approximately 120 different organizations actively participating in the program.

Samples are collected monthly, which are analyzed in-house for hardness, alkalinity, dissolved oxygen, pH and temperature. Additional samples are analyzed at the CPW Laboratory in Fort Collins for total and dissolved metals. Twice a year nutrient samples are tested for ammonia, chloride, sulfate, total suspended solids, total phosphorous, nitrate and nitrite. One physical habitat assessment accompanies an annual macroinvertebrate sample which is sent to an outside lab for identification.

River Watch data is stored on an internet server and can be accessed by anyone. All the data are reviewed and validated by Colorado Parks and Wildlife before it is made public. The high quality River Watch data is currently utilized by the Water Quality Control Commission, CPW, and many grass roots level watershed groups in the state for the management of Colorado’s waters.

Project Budburst

Center for Plant Conservation

Betty Ford Alpine Gardens is a Partner Institution in this national effort to protect North America’s rare natural flora. CPC shares best practices for plant conservation and coordinates efforts between organizations.

Colorado Pika Project

Three staff members are trained to collect data on the American Pika during hikes in the alpine.

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