Betty Ford Alpine Gardens 19_20 Annual Report

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Annual Report October 1, 2019 September 30, 2020

522 S Frontage Road East Vail, CO 81657 | (970) 476.0103

Todd Winslow Pierce

DIRECTOR'S STATEMENT Who could have imagined this year? Like many people, we are looking forward to a much brighter 2021. We thank you so much for your continued support and encouragement. I would also like to give a special thank you for the guidance and support from our Board of Trustees. Botanical Gardens have provided so many of you with a place to enjoy nature and the beauty of flowers. They've been a place to safely connect with others, which is so important to all of us. The Gardens saw record numbers of visitors who were able to enjoy our new Caucasus rock garden and renovations to the pond in the main garden. I am happy to share with you that our important conservation work was able to continue. Under the leadership of our new conservation scientist, our team spent many days in the mountains monitoring alpine plants and making seed collections. These collections are banked with the National USDA seed bank in Fort Collins and will help ensure that these plants are protected forever. While working to ensure the future of the alpine flora, we also made important progress in ensuring the future of the Gardens. With new contributions to our growing endowment program, these funds are invested in perpetuity and the Gardens takes an annual distribution that helps pay for our daily operations. A year like this highlights the importance of a guaranteed source of funding. Thank you all for caring so much about your community and the environment we live in; these are things that keep us all moving forward. Best Wishes,

NICOLA RIPLEY Executive Director

"To deepen understanding and promote conservation of alpine plants and fragile mountain environments"

YEAR IN REVIEW Garden Updates & Additions Caucasus Mountains Rock Garden installation Perennial pond renovation First bloom of the Silk Road Garden Brand new website Updated strategic plan Conservation & Research Conservation scientist position created and filled Broadened strategic collections for the North American Botanic Garden Strategy for Alpine Plant Conservation and sent to USDA/National Lab for Genetic Resource Preservation Wild-collected herbarium vouchers collected and sent to Kathryn Kalmbach Herbarium in Denver Participation in Center for Plant Conservation, Global Genome Initiative, Project FeederWatch and Project Riverwatch Family Programs Daily Garden Scavenger Hunt Children's Garden discovery cart Nature Activity family classes Butterfly Launch Community Programs Water-wise plant sale Après at the Gardens expert speaker series Garden expert workshops Chefs in the Gardens Garden tours Snowshoe tours Exhibits Lost in the Woods Alpines: Conquerors of the Cold Colorado Botanic Explorers Intern Program Nicole Cosmany – Horticulture (University of Denver), Alyssa Stevens – Horticulture (Longwood Gardens Professional Gardner Program) and Tanaya Bearmar – Education (University of San Diego) Eagle Valley Outdoor Movement environmental leadership career development high school interns (2) Sustainability #1 Sustainable Business in Eagle County award Town of Vail Cleanest Recycler award 22% total waste reduction; 80% diverted from landfill 8% reduction in water and electricity usage 100% increase in compost program Sustainable Destination management team member

alpine garden



Emily Griffoul joins the Gardens from the Morten Arboretum as the full-time Conservation Scientist. Emily is leading the implementation of the Gardens’ North American Botanic Garden Strategy for Alpine Plant Conservation to promote understanding and protection of vulnerable alpine species and habitats through ex-situ collections, surveys and mapping of alpine areas, collaborations with partners in other gardens and federal agencies, and engaging with the public. She is continuing work to collect seed for preservation and propagation and survey the alpine areas in Colorado with rare endangered plants to develop understanding of the alpine and identify and address threats. The capital building funding for this position was funded by a local family.


In June, construction began on a new rock garden featuring plants native to the Caucasus Mountain region in Azerbaijan, Turkey, Georgia and Eastern Russia, one of the most biodiverse plant areas in the world. What did it take to build this crevice rock garden? Four days, 15 tons of moss rock and sandstone, 10 cubic yards of soil, a couple of banged up fingers and a last minute trip to the stone yard. This project was funded by two longtime garden supporters.

PERENNIAL POND UPGRADE Renovating an original water feature of the Gardens, this project was an opportunity to refine and transform an area of the Gardens that had outgrown its original design. Layers of plant materials and soils that had settled and accumulated over time were removed. The bones of the original design were strong, and the composition and scale of the existing water features lent itself to a well-framed garden vignette. To enhance this visual frame and to draw the eye to the top of the waterfall, broad stone beams were added along the pond’s near edge and landscape boulders across to create planting pockets. New planting will focus on varieties of primrose and other water loving plants. This project was funded by a collection of donors, Kathy and Erik Borgen, Kelly and Sam Bronfman, Marty Head, Liz and Timm Paxson, and Shary Balius.


The harsh Alpine ecosystem is too brutal for trees to live. The Education Center hosted a collection of intimate photographic portraits of high altitude survivors, from lichens to pikas, that have evolved strategies to endure in the world’s toughest environment. Featuring work by John Fielder and several other photographers, visitors experienced what life is like in the land above the trees.


2020 was the 200th anniversary of the Long Expedition, the first scientific exploration of Colorado that included botanist Edwin James. He, and those that followed, opened up the stunning world of plants unique to Colorado. Guests discovered 10 botanic pioneers as they wandered through Ford Park. This outdoor experience was a safe educational activity for all visitors throughout the summer.

DID YOU KNOW... Every year, the Gardens carefully curates its exhibits and educational activities around a central theme? 2020:

LIFE ABOVE THE TREES The two exhibits on the left were created entirely by the education department.

LOST IN THE WOODS winter exhibit

A juried exhibition of contemporary botanical illustrations featuring the majesty and mystery of trees. The 30 original works of art, presented by the Rocky Mountain Society of Botanical Artists, encouraged an appreciation for the wide diversity of plants and trees and met criteria for scientific accuracy, aesthetics, and technical mastery.

FINANCIAL OVERVIEW Betty Ford Alpine Gardens is grateful for every member, donor, volunteer and visitor whose support ensures the Gardens' important work in horticulture, education and conservation.

Annual Operating Revenue $1.4 million Endowment 11%

Gift Shop 13% Grants 9%

Town of Vail 10%


Earned 5%

Donations 52%


private rentals

donors Annual Operating expenses $724,599* Garden 21%

Admin 20%


Development 13%

Education & Conservation 46%

*Does not include gift shop expenses


expert speakers


gift shops


+r 00 12 tee un vol hours



Endowment The Gardens houses one of the most important collections of alpine flora in the world and is leading a national action to protect North America’s alpine flora. The endowment protects the Gardens in perpetuity. The Mueller family honored their wife and mother, Margie, who passed away in September with a gift to answer the endowment challenge match created by Helen Fritch's daughters - Jeanne Fritch, Leslie Chapman and Nancy Fritch. In memory of Margie Mueller, longtime Vail visitor and garden lover, this $30,000 gift will create a legacy of support forever. Mark Mueller Jr. (husband), CJ Mueller (son), Skip Mueller (son) and Dave Mueller (son) and their families were part of this special gift. To deepen the impact, both of these gifts were matched by the Fritch/Liebhaber endowment matching challenge. In total, $120,000 was added to the Endowment with this gift. There is still a $47,000 matching opportunity.

In its 3rd year, the Internship Endowment funded by Pete and Pat Frechette has empowered 9 interns to gain valuable experience in a botanical garden career. In 2020, 3 internships were awarded. Recipients: Nicole Cosmany – Horticulture (University of Denver), Alyssa Stevens – Horticulture (Longwood Gardens Professional Gardner Program) and Tanaya Bearmar – Education (University of San Diego). The interns gain valuable experience teaching family programs, designing interpretation, collecting seed, preparing herbarium specimens, assisting with garden maintenance and curation of the plant database. Thank you on behalf of all the students. *Internship applications now open.

DONORS & SUPPORT Individual, Foundation, and Corporate Donors This list includes contributions made from October 1, 2019 to September 30th, 2020 Circle of Giving ($10,000+) Anonymous Kathy and Erik Borgen Kelly and Sam Bronfman Doe Browning Virginia J. Browning Leslie and Michael Chapman George Family Foundation Holly and Buck Elliott Richard T. Liebhaber Richard T. and Kirsten E. Liebhaber Foundation Frechette Family Foundation George Family Foundation Jeanne Fritch Nancy Fritch Helen McIntyre Sylvia Maggio The Paul and June Rossetti Family Foundation Jeff Spanel Town of Vail Jeffrey Wagner Ambassador ($5,000+) Mary and David Davies Connie Kowal and Dave Mueller C.J. Mueller Skip and Amy Mueller Mark Mueller, Jr. Pepi and Sheika Gramshammer Foundation Molly and Jay Precourt Stanley Smith Horticultural Trust Fellow ($2,500+) Bob L. Davidoff Gross Family Foundation ExxonMobil Foundation Lyda Hill Alexia and Jerry Jurshak Nancy and Robert McLeod Liz and Timm Paxson Gwen and Rick Scalpello Shell HERO Program Marjorie Swig Champion ($1,000+) Alpine Bank Arizona State University Camp and Tappan August Dierdre and Ronnie Baker Susan F. Bales

Sharon A. and Louis M. Balius David Caulkins Center for Plant Conservation Sally and Kevin Clair Caryn Clayman Lucy and Peter Dunning Catherine and Jim Ebone Gail and Jim Ellis Bruce W. Fritch Joan F. and Joseph L. Goltzman Neal Groff Deane Hall, Jr. Ann Hicks Jennifer and Don Holzworth Rossie and Randy Hutcheson IBM International Foundation Susan and George Johnson Cynthia and Peter Kellog Rebecca Kinney Drenda Kudlac Annette Ladt The David and Katherine Lawrence Foundation Luleta and Sam Maslak Jean and Tom McDonnell Norman M. Morris Foundation Donna and Michael Preston Lindsay Reimers Carey and Tim Romer Beatrice Taplin Gloria Walker Advocate ($500+) Jerry Wayne Allen Mimi Asplundh Robyn Landry and Gerhard Assenmacher Bonnie and Stan Beard Jayne W. and Paul A. Becker Priscilla Brewster Robin and Thomas Burch Carolyn and Tavernor Cooke Caulkins Family Foundation Janet and Jim Dulin Melissa Ebone Marilyn and John Eisenhard Inter-Mountain Engineering Holly and Tim Finchem Cookie and Jim Flaum Stephanie and Larry Flinn Joan Francis Shelley and Paxton Gagnet Greg Galvin

Nancy and Charlie Hovey Dennie Jagger Nicola Ripley and Danny Johnson Elaine and Art Kelton Nanette and Nick Kuich Bonnie and Samuel Marks Patricia Lynn McManus Terryann Nelson Nancy Linn Patton Angela and Steve Penrose Mary Pownall Sue Fritch Rasch Nicola Ripley and Danny Johnson Peg Rosenquist Peggy and Anthony Sciotto Cindy and Ted Senko Tye Stockton Bill Stufflebeem Kathy and Steve Swalm Betsy and George Wiegers Laura and Howard Willard Ana and James Yoder Sustaining ($250+) Anonymous Applewood Seed Company Penny Bank Margo and Roger Behler Jane and Robert Berry Marlene and John A. Boll Diane and Jeff Brundage Julie Burt Charlotte and Stuart Davis Michelle and Reg DelPonte Frances and Donald Diones Sherry Dorward Judith Douglas Kathy and Brian Doyle Peter Feistmann Community First Foundation Vicky and John Garnsey Catherine and Barry Gassman Grazyna and Myron Grauer Jenna and Eric Grubbs Tina and Craig Held Catherine and Graham Hollis Darlene Hutchinson William Keller Julia and Michael Kirk Donald G. Kraft Kroger Paula Lutomirski and Prentice O'Leary Christiana and Richard C. Maxwell Ellen Mitchell Pamala Moore Mary Beth and Charlie O'Reilly Carolyn and Steve Pope Margaret and Rick Rogers Barbara and Howard Rothenberg

Amy and Jay Sage Gerald Salani Elaine and Steven Schwartzreich Maureen and Les Shapiro Richard N. Smith Cathy and Howard Stone Dhuanne and Doug Tansill Linda and John Unland Brenton Ver Ploeg Jodi Vettese Claudia Vieth Judi Wagner Nancy and Alex Warshofsky Ellen Waterman Karen and Paul Weinewuth Joan Whittenberg Linda and Ken Wolff Supporting ($125+) Elizabeth Beckmann Suzanne Bross Pedro Manuel Campos Sandy and Rick Collier Nora B Courier Lucinda and Andy Daly Wendy Fuller Mikki and Morris Futernick Cass Galloway Mari Jo Grace Cindy and Stephen Holden Sally Horn Nancy and Carrick Inabnett Jeanine Ingber Rhoda and Joe Kaplan Mary Sue and Steve Katz Liz Keay John and Cindy Kelleher Lynn and Peter Korst Marion and Don Laughlin Beth Levine Lynne and Herrick Lidstone Ann Lieff Karen Lochbaum Diane and Louis Loosbrock Ann and Bob Louthan Suzanne Mckenna Dan and Diane Mercier Deborah Mersfelder Caroline and Ord Morgan Elinor Newman Margaret Nicholls Gail O'Brien Elizabeth Otto Barbara Palermo Jean Ann And William Palmer Stephen Penrose Susan and Ivan Popkin Nan Procknow Jan Redden Sally and Byron Rose

Thank you! The many individuals who donate in the Gardens and to our speaker series are not featured individually in this report. These gifts are also critical to our success. Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy. If an error is discovered, please contact Melissa Ebone at (970) 476-0103, ext 5 Gerle and Robert Russo, Jr. Carole Schragen Jo-Una Spadafora Maureen and Al Stiner Kate and Tom Subranni Terry Thielen Susan and Don Trentel Bonnie Vesey Sharon Winders Friends & Family ($75+) Nancy Alexander and David Staat Patricia Anderson Teri and Robert Anderson Marnie and Rob Arlen Carey and Brett August Eugene Baber Chris Ball Ruth Bittinger Bennett Katherine Borgen Holly and Joe Bouchard Linda and Tim Bourke Patricia and Rex Brown Barbara Bruecker Roseann Casey Lynn and Jim Chapin Joyce Chizmadia Norma J Comins Ann Cullen and Leonard Nurmi Patricia and George Edmonds Margaret and Gary Edwards Elizabeth Foster and Michael Walsh Carol Gerritsen Golden Entertainment Group Sandy Gregorak and Tom Bassett Caroline Heyrend Anne Hintz Christie Hochtl Judy and Wayne Hopper Garry Howe Nancy and Bobby Inman Karen Irwin Kaye and Vernon Isaacs Diane Johnson Judy and John Jax Jean and Desmond Kearns BJ and Jim Knez Judy B. Kurt Patti and Charlie Langmaid Bettan Laughlin Bill Lindsay Patricia and Thomas Logan Maureen Lorenz Susan and Bruce Lowry Trudy and Robert Matarese Marcia and Tom McCalden Mary P. Mehl Sally Meyers Melissa Murphy Susan and Paolo Narduzzi

Beth Nelson Margaret Nelson Jo Norris Mary Beth Ottley Kay Paine Ivy and Gary Parish Mary and John Poppell Jeri Powles Jennifer Reed Wendy and Tony Rotondo Shawn R. Rudy Kathy and Richard Russo Stephanie Samandar Barbara Sanders Jutta Scarry Karen and Stephen Shackles Shaunie and Ted Smathers Patricia Somerville Eric Speck and Fredrick King Mary and Sherwood B. Stockwell Sally Towner Jill and Robert Warner Vali and Willy Wilcox Friends ($50+) Denise Acee Lynn Elizabeth Albers and David Laird Barbara Amdurer Candy Arbour Bonnie and Charles Baker Kathryn Benysh Regina Bock Pam Brandmeyer Norma and Murphy Broten Shan Burchenal Linnoah Bussmann Margaret and Jim Cashen Joanne Cermak Jackie Clark Louise D. Clarke Jacqueline Cohen Silvia and Alan Danson Susan and Mark Dean Jack and Caroline Diani Holly W. Eastman Kelcey Elsass Anne Esson Faye and Richard Herroitt Gail Ferry Barbara and John Fieser Sally and Crosby Foster Laura and Leonard Peter Frieder, Jr. Sue Froeschle Margaret and Richard Garbe Judy Geller Margaret and Philip George Gail and Tom Gilock Ted Goldstein

Colleen Gray Lillie Grisafi Rex Hamilton Christie Herman Greg Hewgley Elizabeth Hoffman Summer Holm Robinette and Steve Hoppin Brian Intoccia Laura and Thomas Irwin Susan James Malin Johnsdotter-Zeltman Dorsey and C. Howard Johnson Rhoda and Joe Kaplan Ann Kirkham Susan Kraizgrun Sydney Kuehn Kim Langmaid and Peter Casbonne Ann Larson Kenneth S. Lewis Judy and Jeff Lovelace Carol Lovell Pamela and Frank Maggio Martha and Kevin Milbery Jen Mason Debra McCabe Joan and Wyatt McCallie Marka Moser Anne Marie and John Mueller Jennifer Muto Nancy Nottingham Tom Noonan Lisa M Olson Leslie Tuverson Perkins Grace and Greg Poganski Joan Potter Beth and Dick Reilly Jean Richmond Lee Rimel Shari Rodeen Maureen and Donald Rome Nancy and Paul Rondeau Cheryl Scott Patricia Shapiro Sally Slaughter Nancy and Brett Smith Bonnie Smith Paul Snider Anne Sorensen Cheryl St. John Trudy F. and W.I. Thomas Jane Thompson Lori and Leslie Walker Phil Weathers Joan Wettstein Timothy Whitley Bill Wilto Linda and James Wolz Carole Wolff-Sawers Ann and James C. Young

Volunteers Pat Anderson Candy Arbour Norma Bolton Kathy Boyes Anne Brown Carol Calcaterra Sally Clair Anne (Sam) Decker Lois Donelson Judy Douglas Kathy Doyle Marilyn Eisenhard Catherine Gassman Augusta Gavigan Pamela Gross Sally Horn Don Laughlin Marion Laughlin Carol Lovell Patricia Lynn McManus Susan Narduzzi Margaret Nelson Gail O'Brien Barbara Palermo Timm Paxson Eric Rietenbach Sarah Schnell Sally Slaughter Maureen Stiner Bill Stufflebeem SummerQuest Joyce Toth Bonnie Vesey Terrie Warren Lisa Yacono Vail Mountain School Volunteer Chefs Richard Bailey Paul Ferzacca Molly Harrison Simone Reatti In Kind Great Gray Art Sweet Dreams Accounting Vail Resorts

9,460 Education Center guests

100,000+ garden visitors


people reached through family and community programming

27 alpine seed

collection trips to 9 field sites

7 full-time

470 students involved


seeds collected of 43 species in 64 collections to be banked at USDA/NLGRP in Ft. Collins

staff members

Looking forward to...

Publishing the North American Botanic Garden Strategy for Alpine Plant Conservation Production completed on the Gardens' coffee table book -On the Roof of the Rocky Mountains Crescent Garden renovation Rooftop Terrace expansion Increase of unusual woody plants collection Expansion of alpine plant conservation program

To deepen understanding and promote conservation of alpine plants and fragile mountain environments

Board of Trustees Susan Frampton President Gwen Scalpello Secretary Mary Beth Ottley Treasurer Kelly Bronfman Kathy Borgen Doe Browning Pedro Campos Holly Elliott Jeanne Fritch Sheika Gramshammer Dick Liebhaber Jennifer Mason Jenny Maritz Liz Paxson June Rossetti

Staff Nicola Ripley Executive Director Melissa Ebone Development Director Nanette Kuich Education Director Nick Courtens Curator of Plant Collections Ellen Lorenz Operations Manager Colin Lee Horticulturist Emily Griffoul Conservation Scientist Jeri Powles Volunteer Engagement Coordinator Susan Swimm Gift Shop Buyer Lavon Horn Gift Shop Manager

Todd Winslow Pierce

Betty Ford Alpine Gardens is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Established in 1986, the Gardens is known for its alpine horticulture, education, and conservation.

" lifts my spirit to be there"

522 S. Frontage Road East Vail, CO 81657 (970) 476-0103

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