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The CSU Extension in Gilpin County helps mountain residents improve their quality of life by offering a website, classes and programs that provide unbiased, research-based information on forestry, wildfire, wildlife, mountain gardening, noxious weeds and many other issues. Through our 4-H programs, we help youth develop life skills through leadership opportunities.

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Gilpin County Extension High and Dry Demonstration Garden

Gilpin County Extension High and Dry Demonstration Garden

The High and Dry Gardens were created in response to the drought experienced by most of the state of Colorado in recent years, and to the “permanent” watering restrictions that people with wells have to face – State Water Law permits no outside watering if a well was put in after May 8, 1972 on lots under 35 acres.

The purpose of these demonstration and research gardens is to demonstrate to the public the possibility of establishing a landscape only on natural rainfall.

Most of the plants used in the High and Dry Gardens are native to the Rocky Mountain region and all are xeric. We hope the High and Dry Gardens will promote the use of native, xeric plant species in the residential landscape. These Gardens serve as ongoing studies to learn more about plant species thriving on little or no supplemental water.

The Gardens are designed, installed, and maintained by Colorado State University Extension employees and Master Gardener volunteers.

There are currently three High and Dry Gardens, one in Gilpin County, one in San Miguel County in front of their Extension Office – planted in 2006, and one in Telluride.

We invite you to visit the gardens and experience our “no water” landscapes.

These gardens were made possible by a grant from:

Colorado Garden & Home Show logo

Be sure to watch No-water Gardening for Higher Elevations (above 7500’)

Extension Office is Open Under Strict Guidelines

Visits are by appointment only.