Native Plants Garden, Habitat Hero Workshops and Solar Array to enhance GGP


By Sally High and Keith Bruno
Geothermal Greenhouse Partnership and Weminuche Audubon

The Geothermal Greenhouse Partnership (GGP) is undertaking three exciting projects on the Centennial Park site in July. Pagosa Springs’ Riverwalk promises to be a busy place as improvements are added for the benefit and enjoyment of the public. By mid-August, the park enhancements should be completed with the help of several partnering organizations.

Native plants garden

The GGP is building a native plants garden in collaboration with Weminuche Audubon Society and Southwest Conservation Corps (SWCC). Garden fence construction begins Monday, July 20, when Colorado Youth Corps brings youth workers to Pagosa Springs for two weeks of park improvements.

The 42-foot round fence and garden construction result from a Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) grant that the GGP submitted through the Town of Pagosa Springs. Materials are paid for with existing GGP and Weminuche Audubon funds. The youth workers will complete their site improvements and participate in local learning activities on July 31.

Solar energy installation 

GGP received a La Plata Electric Association Renewable Generation Funds Grant for construction of a solar array to generate electricity for the GGP site. An active solar generation system is being installed.

Habitat Hero workshops

Weminuche Audubon received a National Audubon Society Coleman and Susan Burke Center for Native Plants grant to plant a native plant garden for demonstration and education of the public. The GGP is proud to partner with Audubon and provide the site for the permanent demonstration garden.

Beginning Monday, July 27, local partners join Audubon Rockies to host native plants workshops free to the public. 

Jamie Weiss, Audubon Habitat Hero coordinator, will teach a Habitat Hero virtual orientation workshop about the importance of bird-friendly native plants and preserving our local biodiversity. The online workshop is from 2 to 4 p.m. and registration is required:

Hands-on workshops continue Tuesday, July 28, when volunteers will assist in planting the native plant Habitat Hero garden on the GGP site. The end of the week brings a special movie, “Hometown Hero,” to be shared online.

Community-minded Pagosa Springs organizations are encouraging responsible behaviors to keep each other safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are determined to complete our planned hometown improvements by encouraging outdoor activity, social distancing and face coverings.