The Wes Sears Memorial Garden, a Colorado Wildscape

Wes Sears was a member of the UUCB for 43 years, serving at various times as a Board Member, Sunday School teacher, Build and Grounds Committee Chair and fundraising committee member for three capital campaigns.  

 

Wes also served on the Boulder Audubon board for 20 years, spearheading fundraising and volunteer recruitment efforts while also organizing monthly programs and field trips.1

 

When he heard about the Audubon at Home program in a presentation at the Unitarian Church in Boulder he couldn’t wait to plant a garden that would serve as a wildlife habitat.  He and his wife, Beverly, had always been avid gardeners, and they and others who attended the Boulder County Audubon meeting at UUCB had the perfect spot in mind: two large berms at the church that were in need of a little TLC.2

 

“The mulch had turned into compost growing weeds,” says Beverly Sears.  “It just seemed perfect. (It would be) the first one in Colorado.”

 

About a month after the presentation, Wes was diagnosed with terminal cancer.  They decided the garden should be a memorial. Beverly said, ‘He was so excited and started looking at plants.  He was afraid it wouldn’t happen. I promised it would.’

 

The garden was a particularly appropriate way to remember a man who had been an avid lover of Nature.

 

In late May (2005) 30 volunteers got to work on the 3,700 square feet of berm planting more than 250 water-wise plants.  Susan j Twiet, was the designer. Taken below from her plans is the Landscaping Concept3:

 

Transform two narrow and long strips between a parking lot and sidewalk into a wild “garden” with flowers and color from spring through fall using native species that will attract birds and butterflies.  The garden will require little maintenance except occasional weeding, and will thrive with no additional water after being had-watered the firs year. it will enhance the appearance of the parking lot and approach to the existing building, adding color, fragrance, and the sight and sound of hummingbirds, butterflies and other birds and insects.

 

The species selected reflect the characteristics of the site:  poor soil, high heat radiation from adjacent paved surfaces, low water availability and the potential for high winds.

 

Check the Archives bulletin board (across the Hall from Rev Dana’s office) over the summer to follow the build of the garden and how it looked through the seasons.

 

  1. “Wes Sears memorial Garden Dedicated under Rainbow Skies, by Steve Jones, in On The Wing Boulder County Audubon Society Newsletter, Nov-Dec 2005.
  2. “Going native.  A water-wise memorial”, by Cindy Sutter, Camera Staff Writer, in The Daily Camera, June 10, 2005.
  3. “Boulder County Audubon Wildscape Memorial Garden”, vision and planting for garden, by Susan J Tweit, garden designer.