Centerra Home to CSU Flower Bed Design Competition

Published: July 12, 2007

LOVELAND, CO – July 11, 2007 – Vibrant flower blooms at Centerra this summer reflect Colorado State University (CSU) Landscaping Design and Contracting students blossoming into their full potential. Richly colored flower beds throughout Centerra are the result of the first student landscape design competition conducted at Centerra in cooperation with CSU and ValleyCrest Landscape Development. Centerra is Northern Colorado’s largest master-planned community at Interstate 25 and Highway 34.

The competition engaged five pairs of students. The winning design, by Meghan Oren and Chad Whitney, was planted this spring by ValleyCrest, Centerra’s contract landscape firm.

Beginning last fall, students experienced the entire bid process from start to finish. They created flower bed designs according to Centerra’s design guidelines and budget, showed the client conceptual plans, received feedback, and gave a final presentation. The winners were chosen in December 2006, and the flower beds were planted in May 2007.

“It’s a great way to prepare our students to be successful after they graduate,” said Zach Johnson, a CSU professor with the Landscape Design and Contracting Program. “It gives them realistic expectations of the professional world.”

While flower annuals are planted at Centerra every year, this pilot program gave ValleyCrest a chance to try something new. “We really wanted to establish a new look for our annuals, one with curb appeal and impact,” said Chris Perry, ValleyCrest assistant branch manager.

Board members of the Centerra Commercial Owners Association (CCOA) selected Meghan and Chad’s design for its eye-catching appeal and ability to bring a “pop” to Centerra’s main gateway entrances.

“We were excited to partner with CSU and ValleyCrest on a project that gives students hands-on experience in their field,” said Kim Perry, Vice President of Community Design – McWHINNEY. “The students were able to use their creativity to develop colorful and inviting flower bed patterns that stayed within the design parameters of our master-planned community.”

Combinations of the annuals – petunias, marigolds, sunlight margarite daisy, salvias, lantana, celosia and more – were planted in six highly-visible locations.

Flower Bed Locations at Centerra:
• Entrance at Highway 34 and Rocky Mountain Avenue
• Roundabout at McWHINNEY Boulevard and Rocky Mountain Avenue
• Entrance of the Rangeview Office Campus at Rocky Mountain Avenue
• Roundabout at McWHINNEY Boulevard and Hahn’s Peak Drive
• Flower containers at The Marketplace at Centerra
• Flower beds in front of Wells Fargo

The success of the competition can not only be seen with the flower beds themselves, but also in how the vital experience gained by the students has translated into new employment in Northern Colorado. ValleyCrest has hired Meghan Oren, and Chad Whitney is now working at RHA in Boulder.

In addition to their winning designs being implemented at Centerra, the two graduating seniors also won a cash prize and a two-day trip to ValleyCrest’s corporate office in Callabasa, California.


About Centerra

Centerra, an award-winning 3,000-acre master-planned community located in Loveland, Colorado, is a McWHINNEY development. Centerra offers Northern Colorado’s first lifestyle center; The Promenade Shops at Centerra, in joint venture with Poag & McEwen Lifestyle Centers. It also is home to Medical Center of The Rockies, a state-of-the-art 136 bed cardiac and trauma specialty hospital that will open in February 2007 as one of only two LEED certified hospitals in the nation, and The Marketplace at Centerra, Northern Colorado’s largest contiguous power shopping center. Centerra, which was recognized by the National Association of Industrial & Office Properties (NAIOP) as the Colorado Chapter’s Development of the Year, embodies the company’s purpose of creating great places for people. For additional information visit or