CMC gets city approval for garden expansion off of Crawford Avenue
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Colorado Mountain College in Steamboat Springs has the money and now it has the city’s blessing to expand its Bear Park Gardens. The plan to add a growing dome, teaching pavilion and restroom to their current garden sailed through city planning Thursday. The new additions will allow students to grow crops year-round and become a tool for sustainability and permaculture studies.
“They’ve been pursuing this for four or five years and they finally got funding and trustee board approval,” said CMC’s statewide director of facilities, Sean Nesbitt. “This addition will help with hands-on learning.”
Nesbitt said CMC can start construction next summer for a gravel driveway, water and electric that will run to the Bear Park Garden. The garden is located below the Steamboat Academic Building parking lot on the east side of Crawford Avenue. The school currently has to run water hoses down to the garden.
“It’s going to be a really beautiful addition to the entrance of the campus,” said CMC Vice President and Campus Dean Kathy Kiser-Miller.
“Keep in mind it is a garden. It’s part of the permaculture program and sustainability program and now it will be a part of culinary studies as well,” said Kiser-Miller.
Permaculture is the practice of gardening using intelligent design with sustainable energy and resources. It’s supposed to minimize the impact of gardening on the surrounding environment.
CMC is expecting to have the full project done within three years, maybe sooner. The expansion will occur over several phases, with the dome, or sophisticated greenhouse, finished after the infrastructure is put in.
“It really will be an outside laboratory experience for our students,” said Kiser-Miller.
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With abnormally low snow levels, most of the snow skiers and snowboarders will encounter Saturday during Steamboat Resort’s Opening Day will be manufactured.