Exhibits

Current Exhibits

Featuring rotating exhibits in the Education Center and outdoor displays throughout Ford Park, each year, these exhibits are centered around a new mission-based theme.
$5 suggested donation.

From Platte to Peak

November 2021 – April 30, 2022

Education Center

Presenting illustrations of plant species collected 200 years ago by botanist Edwin James during the Stephen H. Long expedition. James collected 700 plant species, 140 which were entirely new to science.

 

This exhibit, organized by the Rocky Mountain Society of Botanical Artists, intends to honor and celebrate the explorers that discovered these species.

 

Each scientifically accurate piece is created in traditional botanical illustration media: watercolor, graphite, pen and ink, colored pencil or hand pulled prints. The resulting renderings are exquisitely detailed, able to illustrate far more detail than found in photographs.

2022 Summer Exhibit

Coming Soon

Education Center and Ford Park

Stay tuned for next year’s summer exhibit!

Previous Exhibits

Interactively inspiring guests in the world of conservation and exploration since the
monumental opening of the Education Center in 2015.

Plants are an Answer

June – October 2021

Plants are an answer to climate change. They are nature’s reservoirs for absorbing carbon dioxide as they grow. Practical plant-based solutions to a warming climate based on today’s technology are highlighted in the Education Center. The exhibit is inspired by Project Drawdown, a plan of eighty solutions developed by a coalition of researchers and scientists to reverse global warming.

Outdoors in Ford Park, a Plants Are an Answer exhibit and family scavenger hunt will demonstrate how a plant-based diet is one of the big ways we, as individuals, can positively impact the climate. 

Alpines: Conquerors of the Cold

June – April 2020-21

The harsh alpine ecosystem is too brutal for trees to live. Explore intimate photographic portraits of survivors, from lichens to pikas, that have evolved strategies to endure in the world’s toughest environment. 

Colorado Botanist Explorers

June – November 2020

2020 was the 200th anniversary of the Long Expedition, the first scientific exploration of Colorado that included botanist Edwin James. He, and those that followed, opened up the stunning world of plants unique to Colorado. This outdoor exhibit explored the impact of these scientists and what the botanic world can attribute to their early discoveries.

Lost in the Woods

November – April 2019-20

A juried exhibition of contemporary botanical illustrations featuring the majesty and mystery of trees. The 31 original works of art, presented by the Rocky Mountain Society of Botanical Artists, encourage an appreciation for the wide diversity of trees and meet criteria for scientific accuracy, aesthetics, and technical mastery.

The Rocky Mountain Society of Botanical Artists (RMSBA) is an open and diverse group of artists, collectors and admirers who share a love for the practice and perpetuation of botanical art and illustration with a fond focus on plants in the Rocky Mountain Region.

RMSBA encourages and participates in educational outreach, juried and non-juried exhibits, lectures, workshops and regular chapter meetings. They are proud to be the very first chapter affiliation of the international organization, the American Society of Botanical Artists.

Women Farmers

June – October 2019

A photographic exhibit of women farmers around the globe displayed in all 4 local Eagle County libraries.

National Geographic photographer Jim Richardson has beautifully captured these farmers in their fields who make up the majority of worldwide food harvest.

Exposed: The Secret Life of Roots

June – October 2019

Betty Ford Alpine Gardens was the FIRST in the country to re-create the US Botanic Garden’s most popular 2015 exhibit, Exposed: The Secret Life of Roots.

A powerful visual display with 20 foot long roots hanging from the floor to the ceiling grown at the Land Institute in Kansas. The exhibit featured in-depth interpretation exploring the critical dilemma of how we will sustainably feed the growing planet. Guests explored how the development of perennial crops could save the future of America’s farmlands.

“Agriculture is the world’s worst mistake” said Jared Diamond. Learn more in this inspiring video from Patagonia 

Dramatic panels by world-renowned National Geographic photographer Jim Richardson installed in the Education Center and in the gardens highlighted the hidden world of roots.

Stickwork

June – October 2018

Photography exhibit of Stickwork sculptures by renowned environmental artist Patrick Dougherty. “For over 35 years, the public has been mesmerized by Dougherty’s whimsical sculptural creations in botanical gardens, museum grounds, universities and other settings around the world. He has honed his craft at bending and weaving natural materials into over 285 monumental interactive sculptures for an unforgettable experience.”

Dougherty created a Stickwork art installation outside the Gardens in Ford Park that lasted just under two years.

H2O = Life

June – October 2018

More than 90% of all mountain wildlife species depend on rivers at some time in their lives. What makes rivers like Gore Creek so important? The riparian ecosystem is a web that connects organisms to the river, forest and each other. Visitors will learn about the plants and animals that live amid the water, how these organisms help or hinder the river’s health, and what we can do to improve the health of Colorado’s rivers.of roots.

The Year of the Pollinator

Summer 2017

With the addition of the Pollinator Garden built on the Northeast side of the Education Center, 2017 focused on unfathomable processes we have pollinators to thank for and how we can help them continue their inmeasurable work.

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