Gardens give back |

Gardens give back

Carolyn Pope
Carolyn PopeBruce Beckwith and Helen McIntyre.

Volunteers who give their time to the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens joined together for an exquisite lunch Sept. 30 at DaVinci’s in the Vail Plaza Lodge and Hotel.

Over the past year, the volunteers accomplished an amazing amount of work, totaling 2,120 hours of time. From working in the Schoolhouse gift shop, leading tours and assisting in special events, those who give generously of their time keep these world-famous gardens beautiful for locals and tourists alike.

If we were to assign a value to the number of volunteer hours, the time amounted to around $42,000.

The gardens celebrated its 20th anniversary by hosting the “Bells and Butterflies” event for families and the naming of “Betty Ford Way.” The event included 250 guests and 30 presentations by artists, musicians, and even a yoga instructor. The collaborative event paired the alpine gardens with AIPP, the Vail Jazz Foundation, Bravo!, the Vail Symposium and the Gore Range Natural Science School. The Spirit of Betty Ford Award was a sellout, honoring Mrs. Ford’s 90th birthday and Marty Head, who received the prestigious award.

The Betty Ford Alpine Gardens is the highest botanic garden in the U.S. This summer, the Gardens hosted 12 weddings, offered weekly programs for about 250 children, and provided horticulture therapy to several community groups and the general public. Their docents led about 40 tours on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays, and the volunteers spent 800 hours digging and weeding.

To check out a PBS program featuring the Gardens, go to and view program number 1,210. If you’re interested in volunteering or donating, please visit its Web site at

>> To help us publicize your event, e-mail or call (970) 748-2989.

Click on photo galleries at to see more photos from this event.

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