The High Plains Environmental Center Story

One of our Favorite events occurs in the Wild Zone every year when a local Native American family puts on a mini-powwow for 80 to 90 – 3rd graders from the Thompson School District. The drumming and singing seems to awaken something in the land that has known the voice of indigenous people for thousands of years.

 

In 2009 High Plains Environmental Center launched our Giving Garden with the help of a $5000 grant from the Beanstalk Foundation and a $5000 grant from The Coalition for Activity and Nutrition to Defeat Obesity (CanDo). In our first season we grew and donated 12,000 lbs. of food to the Food Bank for Larimer County and the Loveland House of Neighborly Service.

In 2010, utilizing the help 1335 volunteers donating 5213 hours of their time we increased our production to 20,539 lbs. We also shared $2,500 of grant money, along with our technical assistance and guidance, to help create five additional gardens in Loveland.

In 2011, we expanded our operation significantly, built a greenhouse to extend the duration of our harvest, increased our cultivated area from 1.3 to 4 acres, expanded our irrigation system to meet the increased demand and restored our barn. And once again we doubled our production providing a whopping 45,000 lbs. of produce the local food banks

The garden also provides visitors from regional schools, as well as other groups, with thousands of hours of outdoor education and valuable hands-on, community building, life experience.