Alpine gardens approves education center
VAIL — Rated as one of the top 30 public gardens, the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens has the town of Vail’s final and unanimous approval from the Planning and Environmental Commission and the Design and Review Board to build an education center at the gardens. The building is the next phase in the evolution of Betty Ford Alpine Gardens and the final phase of the Ford Park renovation. The center will provide a permanent home and financial stability for the organization and complete the Ford Park experience.
While Ford Park is broadly used in the summer, the education center at Betty Ford Alpine Gardens will extend access to year-round usage and increase visitors to both Vail and Ford Park. While describing the building, Nick Courtens, the gardens’ senior horticulturist, said, “The education center will include an alpine house, or cold green house where we will grow alpine plants throughout the year. For the first time in the history of Vail, we will be able to expose winter guests to some of the perennial plants and landscape features prevalent in our alpine environment during the summer.”
The Betty Ford Alpine Gardens has submitted several grants, including a request to the town of Vail for real estate transfer tax funds to help build the education center.
“A contribution from the town of Vail will help develop the public-private partnership that has made these gardens so successful,” Nicola Ripley said.
Betty Ford Alpine Gardens is a nonprofit organization and is celebrated as the highest botanical garden in the world. Located in Ford Park and an easy walk from the center of Vail, the gardens are home to approximately 3,000 species of high altitude plants and is the National Alpine Collection of Colorado. For more information, please call 970-476-0103, ext. 3.