Written and Photographed by Halle Brown, ESLLC 2017-2018
Last week, I visited the Denver Botanic Gardens with my First-Year Seminar and was amazed by the diversity and beauty of the plant life. I stopped to take pictures of nearly every plant because each had its own unique characteristics even in similar environments. I also felt compelled to walk barefoot through a few exhibits to ground myself. The Denver Botanic Gardens is an excellent place to unwind, but as an environmentalist, I couldn’t help but notice how well the Gardens supports environmental sustainability by connecting the public with nature through education and art.
As I made my way through the Gardens, I found plaques before different plant exhibits explaining the original location and distinct characteristics of the species. I found this helpful when relating the adaptations and appearances of plants to their habitats. Plants that have the same or similar habitats share exhibits with climates most like their homes. For example, the cacti live outside with other shrubs that require an arid climate, while tropical plants, such as Red Ginger and Angel’s Trumpet, live in a large enclosure with high humidity. This arrangement educates visitors about the plants that cohabitate and the particular climates that suit them best.
The Denver Botanic Gardens does not only promote sustainability through education,but also through art. When I wandered through each exhibit, I noticed how the staff meticulously chose specific combinations of plants to inspire a sense of awe in the viewer. The bright colors, various textures, and atypical patterns reminded of the utter beauty that exists in nature. This experience inspires visitors to care more for the environment and adopt eco-friendly practices.
The Denver Botanic Gardens allows for both an educational and artistic experience which encourages visitors to look out for the Earth and all of its treasures. I not only left with a better understanding of our world, but also with a sense of harmony and tranquility. I hope to take a trip back to the Gardens in the near future with all of my friends so they too can experience the power of nature.