Community partners, Geothermal Greenhouse Partnership enhance Riverwalk


Photo courtesy Brenda Breding

The thriving Native Plants Garden on the San Juan Riverwalk in Centennial Park is a successful partnership between local Audubon volunteers and Geothermal Greenhouse Partnership.

By Sally High | Geothermal Greenhouse Partnership

The Geothermal Greenhouse Partnership (GGP) is busy this fall beautifying the west end of Centennial Park. 

Partnerships and volunteers made this possible. 

To volunteer with GGP’s landscaping efforts, contact 

When you walk down the San Juan Riverwalk, notice the newly painted doors of the GGP’ three greenhouses. Funding from Main Street initiative’s Façade Improvement Grant made those brightly colored doors possible.

The GGP received assistance from a Town of Pagosa Springs grant to build raised beds along the Riverwalk sides of the Community Garden Dome and the Innovation Dome. The Education Dome’s sandstone raised beds were planted a few years ago with deer-resistant perennial plants. Those beds are overflowing with ornamental plants that come back every growing season. Many Riverwalkers take home seeds to plant at home because those perennials obviously thrive in Pagosa Springs.

Containers on the north side of the Community Garden Dome are being made ready for spring planting along the Riverwalk. Water troughs and whiskey barrels demonstrate how easy it is to grow food and beauty in any yard or porch. The containers are partly filled with wood and then filled with soil, a water-conservative growing technique known as hügelkultur. Permaculturalists recognize the advantages of hugel raised beds, which hold moisture in the soil and build fertility. Both perennial edibles and seasonal vegetables will be planted in the spring of 2024.

The south side of the Innovation Dome will feature cinder block raised beds. A stucco surface will give those short walls an adobe look and a heritage theme will guide the planting of those beds in 2024. 

The GGP volunteers dream of a Heritage Garden to demonstrate growing foods that have been grown at our latitude, longitude and altitude for generations.

Generous community members donated the daffodil and iris bulbs now being naturalized around the Education Dome doors. The wood chips that serve as ground cover are an annual contribution by a local business and are transported to the GGP site by another local businessman.

The Pagosa Springs Rotary Club donated the sandstone and initial plantings in its Rotary Garden on the GGP site. Rotarians now plan to tend the Xeric garden that demonstrates water-conservative ornamental growing in our high desert climate.

The Terry Hershey Memorial Native Plants Garden was planted on the GGP site in collaboration with the Weminuche Audubon Society and Audubon Rockies. Native plants benefit birds and other wildlife and provide water-saving beauty to our local park. Audubon volunteers tend the thriving Native Plants Garden each growing season.

The GGP always welcomes volunteers in ongoing landscaping efforts. Contact to get involved and help plan a green 2024.

Tax-deductible donations can be made all year, but especially in this season of giving, at

Tickets for Three Sisters at your Thanksgiving Table can be purchased at the door or at The Three Sisters benefit is this Saturday evening from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association Clubhouse.