Botanic Park offers something for everyone this season

Banjo player Von Wilson and the Old Town Pickers entertain the crowd at the Yampa River Botanic Park as part of the Music of the Green concert series. The Pickers played to a large crowd, estimated at more than 500 people, in the popular summer music series.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today

Spring has sprung and the Yampa River Botanic Park is gearing up for another season of events that will include old favorites like Yoga on the Green and children’s storytime, as well as a new spring plant benefit, the second annual Passport Through the Botanic Park event and plenty of music and theater to last all summer long.

The park is currently open and the summer event schedule kicks off at the end of May with Yoga on the Green which, as always, will be held every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 9-10 a.m. This event is just one of a handful of regular summer events that locals and visitors alike have come to count on.

Storytime for children, the Fairy Garden House Contest, Lulie’s Wildflowers and Watercolors, guided walking tours of the park, musical events like Music on the Green and theatrical events like Piknik Theatre will all return this year for a summer of fun.

The newest event in the lineup is the Spring Plant Benefit that will feature perennials, including pollinator-friendly, native and specialty alpine plants that thrive in a mountain atmosphere. Park members will get first choice on June 3 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and everyone else can drop by between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. or the next day from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

Located on the green inside the park, park staff and Routt County Master Gardeners will be on hand to help answer questions and choose plants. The Yampa Valley Sustainability Council will also provide information regarding how to incorporate climate-appropriate planting into gardens and landscapes and how to lessen water demands.

Perhaps the real kick off to summer though, is the second annual Passport Through the Botanic Park. This year, the gala will be on June 25 from 4:30-7:30 p.m. taking guests on a global tour. Informational stations at various gardens in the park will offer educational opportunities as well as global food and wine pairings.

For example, the Crevice Garden is done in a style of gardening from the Czech Republic. Guests will learn more about this style while tasting holopchi cabbage rolls stuffed with beef and rice.

This year’s event will tie in the history of the park as well, in honor of its 25th anniversary. New to the event this year is a live auction which will be called by local legend and Hall of Fame auctioneer Cookie Lockhart.

If one thing stands out about this season at the park though, it’s the fact that it is the 25th anniversary, said the park’s executive director, Jennifer MacNeil. A commemorative 25th anniversary garden will showcase the history of the park over the past two and a half decades and, MacNeil said, the biggest project they’re working on is renovating the entryways into the park.

Practice yoga on the green at the Yampa River Botanic Park on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today

“With the current entry situation, it is difficult to get strollers and wheelchairs through the gates,” she said. “We are rejuvenating the entrance and the experience of entering the park. It will make a statement that this is a world class garden, and we want to welcome everyone in.”

For more information on events this season, visit

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