Our nature spirit guide
From the very beginning, the High Plains Environmental Center (HPEC) has helped guide not only the overarching plan for Centerra’s parks and nature areas but also the efforts of Centerra residents and guests to create a place where native species can flourish. And with its demonstration gardens and heirloom fruit orchard, its native plant nursery and educational programs, its Wild Zone for kids and its raptor cams, the HPEC has inspired a whole new way to think about community.
The conservation and cultivation of native plants is one of HPEC’s key initiatives. Why? Because native plants are more robust, use less water and, perhaps most important of all, they help pollinators thrive. At the HPEC, you can stroll through demonstration gardens that show just how spectacular these plantings can be. And with its educational programs and annual Native Plant Sale, HPEC can help you create your own wonderful, water-wise, hummingbird-friendly gardens.
Into the wild (of your backyard)
Welcome to a land of fresh-grown veggies and heirloom apples. Thanks to HPEC’s community gardens and heirloom fruit orchard, Centerra has plenty of both. And if you want to have your mind blown as well as your tastebuds tickled, consider that some of the apple trees are direct descendants of one planted by Johnny Appleseed. And others are from cuttings of the tree that dropped an apple on Sir Isaac Newton’s head, inspiring him to formulate his law of gravity. Now that’s heavy.
With all the native gardening workshops, birdwatching tours, wildlife walks and kids programs, HPEC could also stand for “High Plains Educational Center.” The staff at HPEC know a lot and they love sharing their knowledge. They work hand-in-hand with the public, Centerra residents and with Centerra’s neighborhood High Plains School (a pre-K through 8 STEAM school) to teach adults and children about land-stewardship, native plants and how to preserve wildlife habitat. HPEC has even created the Wild Zone. Just for kids, the Wild Zone takes lessons about nature and cleverly disguises them as fun to encourage exploration.
For all the wild details and to enjoy cool stuff like the Barn Owl and Kestrel Cam.