My name is Katelin Gaeth and I am an educator, student and scientist of ecology. I became interested in urban ecology, specifically the plants and animals found in residential yards and city parks, as a graduate student in a biology masters program with Miami University and the Denver Zoo. I work at the Denver Botanic Gardens, both downtown and at Chatfield Farms, as a School Program Coordinator where I am surrounded by incredible plant diversity every day.
Growing up in Denver I caught the nature bug early; my family was always out exploring new trails in places like Castlewood Canyon, Pike National Forest or Cherry Creek State Park. While the wildness and native beauty of these places hold a special place in my heart, many of my most vivid childhood memories of nature came from playing in my backyard. Tracking grasshoppers, fashioning leaves into fairy clothes, harvesting carrots by the armful and watching robins hunt for worms. Yards in the city not only offer opportunities to connect with nature, but can be powerful tools for conserving vital habitat for native species.
The purpose of this blog is to provide people in Denver, Colorado and beyond with information about gardening and landscaping practices that benefit our local wildlife and protect our resources. I will post stories about my experiences gardening in Denver, as well as resources for native plants, Xeriscape and ecologically friendly landscaping. Please contact me with any questions about using native and water smart plants in your own yard – if I do not have an answer I can connect you with someone who does!
Here are a few helpful links to get you started:
Plant Select has a wealth of information on plants that grow best in Colorado gardens from the high plains to the inter-mountain region.
Planttalk Colorado provides great essays on all aspects of horticulture and gardening in Colorado, as well as best Xeriscape practices.
Please help me collect data! Take a minute or two to share your experiences with turf grass and alternative landscaping in this quick survey ! All responses are anonymous but you will be able to see what other people have said once you submit your answers.