Betty Ford Alpine Gardens in Vail summer schedule |

Betty Ford Alpine Gardens in Vail summer schedule

Daily staff report
The Betty Ford Alpine Gardens in Vail have named 2017 the "Year of the Pollinator." The Alpine Gardens have activities for people of all ages throughout the summer.
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If you go ...

The Betty Ford Alpine Gardens are located in Ford Park, a short walk from the center of Vail. It is open to the public from dawn until dusk throughout the year and is free. A $5 donation is appreciated. For more information, visit

VAIL — Visit the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens this summer for an array of activities and event offerings for all ages. As the world’s highest botanical garden at 8,200 feet, the Alpine Gardens are located east of Vail Village and are well known for alpine horticulture, education and conservation.

Since the completion of the Education Center in the summer of 2015, the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens has implemented a more dynamic schedule of educational and interactive programs.

The gardens have named 2017 the “Year of the Pollinator” and have designed learning opportunities throughout the summer for Vail’s guests, residents and businesses to learn how we can improve the pollinator health in the area.

“With the health of pollinators declining at an alarming rate across the world, Betty Ford Alpine Gardens decided to tackle the issue head on,” said Lorrie Cardwell, office and events coordinator for the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens. “Education is the first step in reducing and hopefully reversing the trend, starting locally.”

A traveling exhibit called “Pollinators: Keeping Company with Flowers,” is on display at the Education Center through today. The exhibit portrays the relationship between flowers and pollinators and is based on over 70 photographs of the intriguing lives of many kinds of pollinators. A $5 suggested donation is appreciated.

Participate in The Longevity Project

The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.

A series of four evening presentations, Intimate Evening in the Gardens, features notable speakers that will explore the Love of Rivers on Aug. 24; the Wonder of Bats Sept. 14; and Rare & Imperiled Plants of Colorado on Oct. 14. The cost is $20 in advance and $25 the day of the event. Members of the Alpine Gardens receive 10 percent off. For more detailed information, please visit the calendar on the Alpine Gardens website at

If you are interested in digging in the dirt and hands-on gardening, then Volunteer Days are Mondays and Thursday from 9 a.m. to noon through mid-September. Free garden workshops with senior horticulturist Nick Courtens will be offered on select days for a portion of the volunteer time. Tools and gloves are provided.

Guided walks, yoga

For guided walks, Garden Tours are $5 per person. Tours depart from the Education Center and begin at 10:30 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays through Labor Day.

Yoga will also return to the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens this summer. Yoga in the Gardens is held on Mondays and Wednesdays, 9:15 to 10:30 a.m., through September 4. The classes are $15, cash only, and registration is not required.

New this year AIReal Yoga is also offered on select Saturdays throughout the summer for $40 per session — July 15 and Aug. 26 — from 9 to 11 a.m. This “antigravity” style yoga is assisted by silk hammocks.

Enjoy a brown bag afternoon lunch filled with live music during the free Bluegrass in the Gardens events concerts on Wednesdays at 1 p.m. through July 19. Partnering with Vail Summer Bluegrass, and a range of engaging programs during the Intimate Evenings events that include a presentation, appetizers, wine and beer from 5:30 to 7 p.m.. Tickets are $20 in advance. Grammy Award-winning musicians perform free lunchtime performances on the Rooftop Terrace.

“The sound is amazing, the views incredible and the talent outstanding. This is something not to miss,” said Liz Campbell, the Gardens director of development.

Take photos

Photography workshops are also held throughout the summer, including a two-day workshop with John Fielder on Saturday through Sunday. The class is $850 and includes some meals. Members of the Alpine Gardens receive a 10 percent discount.

Contemplative photography is a different type of art where taking pictures reveals richness and beauty that is normally hidden from view. Classes on Contemplative Photography are July 16 and Aug. 27 from 9 a.m. to noon. Students learn how to express the experience of presence with a camera to create dynamic and captivating images. Cost is $35.

And if you are interested in cooking, then Chefs in the Gardens will inspire even the most hesitant chef to create amazing dishes. Some of Vail’s most notable chefs demonstrate technique and share recipes each Thursday, July 6 – Aug. 10, beginning at noon. Members of the Alpine Gardens can reserve seats ahead of time by calling 970-476-0103, ext. 5, or emailing liz@betty

For the kids

For kids, a variety of activities are available at the Education Center and in the Interactive Children’s Garden. Try the self-guided treasure hunt designed to inspire and motivate young ones to become stewards of nature.

The Alpine Gardens gift shops are now both open for the summer. Ford Alpine Treasures gift shop locations: The Village Gift Shop on Gore Creek Drive is located next to the International Bridge, and the Schoolhouse Gift Shop in Ford Park is apart from the Gardens main gates. The shops offer a variety of local and nationally sourced items, and all proceeds go directly back to supporting the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens.

Located in Ford Park, the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens is a short walk from the center of Vail. It is free and open to the public from dawn until dusk throughout the year. A $5 donation is appreciated. Visit the Events Calendar at, or call 970-476-0103 for more information and to register for select programs.

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