On our first Fling adventure day, we will visit the
High Plains Environmental Center (HPEC)
in Fort Collins
HPEC's mission is to "educate communities to become replicable "living laboratories" which demonstrate restorative examples of land-stewardship, native plants, and wildlife habitat."
There are many sections to HPEC. One is the Native Plants Demonstration Garden, which showcases Colorado native plants and emphasizes a regionally appropriate style of horticulture that supports pollinators and water efficiency.
The over 30 native flowers and shrubs here have evolved to survive, and even thrive in Colorado's extreme climate. HPEC is committed to native plant conservation.
HPEC has a relatively new, and successful nursery. They grow native plants from seed, many of which are valuable for restoration projects. HPEC is an affiliate organization of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin (we were there at the 2018 Fling!) with a shared mission to support native plant preservation, conservation, and use.
Members are overjoyed to be able to buy almost impossible-to-find Colorado native species that they wish to enjoy in their own gardens. Here is a most happy customer!
HPEC did an intensive study to identify all the birds, mammals, insects, reptiles and amphibians that live at, or visit the 275 acres of open space here, which includes 2 reservoirs.
Adorable barn owl
A resident mink crosses the path.
We enjoy lots and lots of hummingbirds in Colorado.
A Colorado mountain lion rests in the snow, but is looking very alert.