Centerra Partners with CSU Students for Landscape Design

Published: July 30, 2008

LOVELAND, CO – July 31, 2008 – Striking red, orange, and magenta line the entrances and medians at Centerra this summer due to some “green and gold” ingenuity. For the second year, Centerra partnered with Colorado State University (CSU) Landscaping and Contracting students in a landscaping design competition that provided the design of the flower beds and the selection of annuals positioned at Centerra’s highly visible main entrances. Centerra is Northern Colorado’s largest master-planned community, located at the intersection of Interstate 25 and Highway 34 in Loveland.

This year’s competition engaged five pairs of students. The winning design created by Jamie Jeffers and Lydia Young was planted this spring by ValleyCrest Landscaping, Centerra’s contracted 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 2007, and the flower beds were planted this May.

“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 student competition gave ValleyCrest a chance to try a new design. “We really wanted to establish a fresh look for our annuals, one with curb appeal and impact,” said Chris Perry, ValleyCrest Branch Manager.

Board members of the Centerra Commercial Owners Association (CCOA) selected Jamie and Lydia’s design for its season long appeal, as well as its vibrant color scheme.

“We were excited to partner with CSU and ValleyCrest to give students hands-on experience in their field,” said Phil Hodgkinson, Vice President of Property Management – McWHINNEY. “The students showcased their creativity in developing colorful and inviting flower bed patterns that met the design parameters of Centerra.”

Combinations of the annuals – snapdragons, celosia, salvia, coleus, dahlias, zinnias among others – 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

To learn more, the Landscape of Centerra 2008 brochure provides comprehensive plant lists identifying the annuals, perennials, and ornamental grasses growing at The Marketplace, The Promenade Shops at Centerra, and Chapungu Sculpture Park. Visit to download a copy.


About Centerra

Centerra, an award-winning 3,300-acre master-planned community located in Loveland, Colorado, is a McWhinney development. As a community designed to enhance all aspects of life, Centerra integrates neighborhoods with recreation, art, shopping and dining, business opportunities, and medical services. Centerra offers Northern Colorado’s first lifestyle center, The Promenade Shops at Centerra; the Medical Center of The Rockies, a state-of-the-art 136 bed regional hospital that is on track to be one of the only LEED certified hospitals in the nation; and The Marketplace at Centerra, one of Northern Colorado’s largest contiguous power shopping centers. Centerra, which was recognized by the National Association of Industrial & Office Properties (NAIOP) as the Colorado Chapter’s 2003 Development of the Year, embodies the company’s purpose of creating great places for people. For additional information, visit

About McWhinney

McWHINNEY, headquartered in Loveland, Colorado, is a team of talented people who are passionate about creating great places for people and providing fabled service to our customers. We develop innovative and sustainable master-planned communities and vertical commercial and mixed use projects. Since 1991, McWHINNEY has planned and developed more than 5,000 acres in several master-planned communities and over 3.3 million square feet of vertical commercial and mixed-use properties throughout the Rocky Mountain region and on the West Coast. For additional information, visit