Beginning in 1997 the Yampa River Botanic Park sprang from a flat horse pasture to a six acre gem of ponds, berms, and over 40 gardens. It is one of the jewels of Northwest Colorado and one of the few botanic gardens in the state.
The Park is on land owned by the City of Steamboat Springs. The facility is directed and funded by a board of interested citizens who oversee the Park's operations and raise funds through donations, sponsorships, memberships, and grants. No public funds are directed to the Park.
The land was originally donated by Bob and Audrey Enever to the City, and they were instrumental in its construction. Bob oversaw the placement of over 10,000 cubic yards of soil, to create the berms (mounds) that make the Park three - dimensional. He also built the gardens, roads, ponds, irrigation system and planted 500 trees. Audrey played a major role in the design and planting of the gardens. They are still intimately involved with the operation of the Park. After a successful capital campaign in 2008 a beautiful building was built to house offices, a meeting room and most importantly bathrooms for our visitors.
The Park is free and open to the public from May to October. It serves as a "place of serenity," as a venue for a summer music festival, as a site for weddings and similar events, and as a resource for individuals and landscape architects and designers. The Park sits at 6800 feet above sea level, but, through the use of carefully developed microclimates, supports plants from the entire Yampa River Basin, which runs from 12,000 feet in the Flattops Wilderness to 4000 feet where it enters the Green River and then the Colorado in Utah.