To be able to walk under the branches of a tree that you have planted is really to feel you have arrived with your garden. So far we are on the way: we can now stand beside ours.- Mirabel Osler 

The shelterbelt became a reality late this summer of 2002. It was made possible by the Friends of the Botanic Garden members who so generously contributed to the 2002 Annual Appeal. The Annual Appeal raised over $13,000.00 for the shelterbelt demonstration project.

With assistance from City of Cheyenne Urban Forestry, Wyoming State Forestry, Gordon Signs, and Laramie County Conservation District, the Cheyenne Botanic Gardens tilled, laid fabric and drip irrigation, installed an interpretive sign, and planted trees in the new shelterbelt area.

The shelter belt is a part of the 1900’s Rotary Century Plaza and is connected with a sidewalk. The area also includes a historic tractor. The shelterbelt demonstration will provide education and protection for future generations who will treasure and enjoy this special place in Lions Park.

If you have not had an opportunity to see the shelterbelt, please come and visit the area and learn about the history and importance of shelterbelts in the settling of the High Plains!

History: German immigrants brought the idea of planting shelterbelts to protect farmsteads from drying winds and provide shelter for livestock, crops and homes. In the early 1930’s, a severe drought triggered the “Dust Bowl” on the Great Plains, devastating over 100 million acres of farmland, impacting farms, families and communities. This prompted Franklin D. Roosevelt, in 1935, to institute a massive shelterbelt project to promote large-scale planting of trees across the Great Plains to minimize wind erosion. Much of the success of High Plains agriculture was due to shelterbelts.

Today, shelterbelts are still an important landscape feature. They provide living snow fences, wildlife habitat, and noise barriers, help conserve energy for adjacent dwellings, beautify property and increase privacy.

Implementing a Shelterbelt: An appropriate design enhances the benefits of a shelterbelt without increasing snow drifting problems. Site preparation includes soil tilling for successful root establishment. For maximum wind and snow control, shelterbelt trees are planted closer than in normal landscape plantings. Weed control is essential and is achieved by using tilling or mulch. Fabric or organic mulch is preferred over tilling because roots are not disturbed and soil moisture is retained. Supplemental water is helpful in establishment and is decreased or eliminated as the trees mature.