When the 2013 flood washed away Lyons, the Town Hall Plaza wasn’t spared. But a new wildlife garden habitat has risen from the mud to inspire residents and visitors alike. Volunteers and businesses built the garden with funding from Honeywell, Rotary International, and the Lyons Community Foundation (LCF). Designed by CU students in the Environmental Design program, the garden celebrates the native plants, birds and pollinators that make Lyons their home. The town’s public works and recreation departments, Blue Mountain Stone, and Wild by Design provided labor for the garden after the Lyons Garden Club and LCF secured a $5,000 grant for building it.
When the project started, the soil was in awful shape, says Wild by Design’s Larry Elmore. “It contained absolutely no organic matter.” His company relocated 30 cubic yards of the soil to Bohn Park, where they mixed it with organic compost, sand and Planter’s Mix before placing it in beds at Town Hall. They also added mycorrhiza—a plant-friendly fungus—to each plant’s roots to stimulate growth.
The garden features interpretive signs that identify plants and the types of wildlife each sustains. “The signs help educate visitors about the individual benefits of native plants,” Elmore says. Which just proves that seeds of despair can sow hope and beauty.