Since 1977, the Cheyenne Botanic Gardens has practiced sustainability daily through solar energy, biologically based plant production, education, an incredible volunteer force and creative community-based funding. As a result, you will find wondrous displays of plant life in the conservatory and beautiful, educating grounds. At the Cheyenne Botanic Gardens you can see first-hand how people have come together to sustain the importance of human values, community, ecology and renewable energy into the new millennia.
The Cheyenne Botanic Gardens is a regional center for demonstrating renewable solar energy – both passive solar heating and solar electricity. When the Cheyenne Botanic Gardens opened its doors in November of 1977, it was then the nation’s largest passively solar heated greenhouse. In 1986 a new passive solar greenhouse/conservatory was constructed in Lions Park. In 1997 the project added a photovoltaic system to help power the greenhouse/conservatory.
More recently project has added more solar electricity, a solar heated, solar electric and wind turbine powered classroom/lab at the Paul Smith Children’s Village and many sustainable landscapes. Today, Cheyenne Botanic Gardens generates approximately 40 to 50% of its electricity from a photovoltaic solar energy system.
Heating is expensive in greenhouses, but our greenhouse/conservatory is heated for free. A passive solar heating system provides 100% of the heat to three separate 30′ x 50′ greenhouse sections. The rest of the 6,800 square foot building also receives a substantial amount of heat generated from the solar greenhouses.
The Cheyenne Botanic Gardens has two wind mills, both located at the Cheyenne Botanic Gardens. One is a vertical axis wind turbine that creates electricity for the site. It is manufactured by Windspire Power.
The Gardens also employs an old traditional farmers windmill that pumps water from a 100′ well in the Children’s Village. It is manufactured by Aermotor which is still making great windmills.
The Cheyenne Botanic Gardens developed the first public xeriscape in the state of Wyoming. Conserving water requires planning and an ongoing commitment to sustainable lifestyles. Many landscapes utilize water conserving drip systems rather than overhead sprinkling.
The grounds of the Cheyenne Botanic Gardens (including the Paul Smith Children’s Village) utilizes raw, untreated water that is pumped from the adjacent Sloans Lake. This saves the energy employed in treating water and provides a chlorine free water source which plants prefer. However if you are on our grounds and are tempted to drink out of a sprinkler please don’t. This is untreated water and may cause undesirable results to your digestive health. Instead, look for water fountains inside the Cheyenne Botanic Gardens Greenhouse, Children’s Village or nearby restrooms.
Other Sustainable measures
In addition to our focus on renewable energy and water conservation, we employ many non-toxic strategies for integrated controls for pest control, utilize natural fertilizers and have an extensive composting operation. If you have an interest in home composting please click here to download our Composting Brochure.
Fortunately the Cheyenne Botanic Gardens is the beneficiary of the City of Cheyenne’s recycling program which allows us to recycle all paper, plastic and metal.