Durango BOtanical Society

Building Public Gardens Committed to Demonstration and Education

   Getting To Know Us

The Durango Botanical Society was founded in 2011-2013 with a mission of producing some of the Southwest's premier public gardens. Our mission statement at the founding remains: 

 “The Durango Botanical Society is committed to the design and development of public gardens throughout Southwestern Colorado for the purposes of education and demonstration."

The initial garden project was begun in 2011, entirely with volunteer efforts, behind the Durango Public Library. That award-winning garden, featuring plants specifically oriented to our southwest growing conditions, was completed in 2014 and dedicated as the Library Demonstration Garden. Like all living, thriving gardens, this garden continues to evolve and serves as a tool for events and education programs hosted by specially trained docents. Our gardens are visited each year by thousands of local folks and out-of-town visitors, including international visitors.

The all-volunteer board continues to focus on strategic planning, development of new gardens, and education. In the last few years DBS has added new gardens, including The Crevice Gardens Along the River Trail and the Gabbro Miniature Conifer Garden

Our current board, listed below, is now busily implementing its most recent garden project, The Arboreta, which includes the Miniature Tree garden and and The Arboretum, comprised of a variety of larger trees and plants well suited to our region. The Arboreta gardens, will be reaching fruition during 2019-2020 and are located on the north side of the Durango Public Library.  None of this would be possible without our dedicated volunteers, our heart and our backbone. Thank you!

2019-2020 Board


John Anderson, President

Open Seat, Vice President

Connie MarkertTreasurer

Camilla Potter, Secretary


Nancy Wallace

Theresa Anderson

Barbara Johnson

Carol Wallace

Kathy Ballew


Melanie Palmer, Garden Curator

Hollis Hassenstein, Director of Horticulture

Lynn Mitzlaff, Garden Manager

Jane Collard Gould, Garden Designer   

Lisa Bourey, Horticultural Designer

Erik Lewis, Canyon Landscape 

Mailing Address:

Durango Botanical Society

10 Town Plaza #460

Durango, CO 81301

The Gardens are located at 1900 East 3rd Ave. behind and to the north of the Durango Public Library. 

Email: durangobotanical@gmailcom

Phone: 970-880-4841

The Society meets on the second Monday of every month at noon in program room three at the Durango Public Library.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead

The Five Founding Board Members in 2010

Cindy Smart Founded the Society in 2010. She gathered the garden enthusiasts below to fill the first board positions. Cindy was the Executive Director through 2018. She retired in 2019.

  • Cindy Smart
  • Darrin Parmenter
  • Lisa Bourey
  • Connie Mathews
  • Marye Jackson
  • John Wickman  Joined the board 2 months later

Sandra Bauman, Joann Wharton, Jeff Wagner and Eva Montane with Columbine Landscapes all joined the Board in 2011 and served a short period of time to help us get  off the ground. They helped in organizational projects, educational outreach and our first events. Their work was greatly appreciated and we owe deep gratitude to them for their efforts.

We are in the PINK!

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