How fitting it is to have the Rocky Mountain Botanic Garden developing in what once was once the cozy Foothills Mobile Home Park at the south end of Fourth Avenue by the foot bridge entrance to Bohn Park. I like to think that the garden honors the residents who once lived there. The mobile home park was destroyed by the 2013 flood, and the property was acquired by the Town of Lyons. Thanks to the Town for setting aside this beautiful parcel of land for the garden.
Placing a botanic garden in Lyons has been a dream of long-time Lyons resident Garima Fairfax. She and the botanic garden volunteer group started work on the vacant parcel in early 2019, and have put in a tremendous amount of time and effort to bring the garden to fruition, so to speak.
To prepare for planting this spring, volunteers have been weeding, making gravel pathways, placing rock borders, and preparing and improving the soil by covering it with recycled cardboard and wood chip mulch. The Lyons Volunteers built a tool shed, excavated, and helped place gravel on 850 feet of pathways, and are in the process of putting in wooden fence posts to delineate the boundaries of the garden.
If you walk by the area, you will notice that there are two new mountains in Lyons east of the garden. They are the huge piles of wood chip mulch that the volunteers have been transporting by buckets and wheelbarrows to spread out on top of the cardboard. The cardboard covering keeps moisture in the soil, encouraging worms to move in and help enrich it. Worms love cardboard, it turns out.
The botanic garden will be a place to see and learn about Colorado’s native plants. Hopefully, it will encourage people to include a native plant or two in their landscape. Native plants provide food and shelter for birds, insects, and other animals.
Weather permitting, volunteers are welcome Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday from 10:00am to 12:00pm during winter hours and 9:00am to 11:00am in the other seasons. And be sure to check out the little free garden library.