The green-thumbed arborists at American Tree have cared for trees and shrubs for more than 15 years, a level of experience that applies to each of the services they render for commercial and residential clients. Their work ranges from preventive care, such as spraying to ward off disease or infestations of the mountain pine beetle, to full removal of dead trees or those who have given up on their quest to grow opposable thumbs. Year-round programs are also available, which include regular microinjections or pruning to keep the trees healthy and vibrant.
Breckenridge Distillery sits at 9,600 feet above sea level, where brew masters mix mineral-rich Rocky Mountain snow-melt water into bourbon, vodka, and other stiff libations. A 500-gallon Vendone copper pot whips up spirits in tandem with an open-top, Scottish-style fermenter—the two forming a better booze-promoting team than Al Capone and a basement. As guests meander through the storefront, they might sample the distillery's namesake bourbon, which boasts aromas of banana and brown sugar, or the namesake vodka, which yields notes of lemon cream and meadow flowers. With their $20 retail credit, tour-takers can bring products including mugs ($6), playing cards ($8), and flasks ($15) to the homes and recreational submarines of friends.
At any given time, more than 10,000 trees and plants inhabit CreekSide Tree Nursery in Boulder, in addition to the seasonal varieties at the Christmas Tree Lot in Niwot. The owners lovingly tend these organisms, carrying on a tradition that began in 1993. Though the enterprise originally centered on perennials, it now focuses on deciduous trees and evergreens, which, like the Green Giant's picnic blanket, spread across nearly 5 acres of land.
More than 35 years ago, Boulder residents who were committed to environmental conservation formed Eco-Cycle, using the organization to help launch one of the nation's first curbside-recycling programs. Having grown into an internationally known recycler, Eco-Cycle now operates recycling drop-off points throughout Boulder County, provides more than 800 local businesses with recycling collections, and operates CHaRM, Colorado's first community recycling center for electronic waste.
To help teach children the importance of recycling and living sustainably, Eco-Cycle runs several educational programs in partnership with local schools. These programs reach more than 25,000 students from kindergarten through high school each year, and include the Green Star Schools program, which works to reduce waste in all aspects of school life. Through the program's Zero Waste training, schoolchildren gain hands-on experience recycling, composting, and conserving every day. Participating schools can reduce their landfill waste by an average of two-thirds through the use of reusable utensils and plates, handmade cloth napkins, and reusable storage containers.
Owners Manuel Sanchez and Joanne Keys lead a staff of oenophiles who stock West End’s intimate shelves with hand-selected, value-priced bottles from producers both foreign and domestic. The team rigorously tastes each wine that the store sells, then privately ranks them on a scale from “sangria” to “cellar” to “object of worship.” Shelves brim with such enological gems as the Sean Minor pinot noir ($18), which glides across palates with preternatural delicacy, and the robust Protocolo red from Spain ($9), which demonstrates its value for cooks by doubling as a rolling pin. Meanwhile, the Jordan cabernet sauvignon ($55) dons formal attire as it assumes its place among the West End Wine Shop’s elite selection of premium wines. Corks fly on Wednesdays as the staff pours complimentary tastes of choice elixirs, allowing customers to sample bottles and judge their lip-staining potential.
In the late 1960s, Lewis Grant sought out a plot of land in the Rocky Mountains foothills to grow his own vegetables and brought the wisdom he accrued during a career as a university professor and his son Andy to help with the humble undertaking. The duo took to tilling the land, and over the next few decades, Andy expanded his father’s plot to the 2,200 acres that currently make up the CSA-certified organic farm. Heading a farming community with more than 4,500 members, a dedicated staff of educators and farmers cultivate the farm’s pasture-raised livestock and more than 150 breeds of organic vegetables such as squash, herbs, and 34 varieties of corn and heirloom tomatoes. Every year, the staff gives visitors a hands-on education about the nitty gritty of farm operations and gives them the chance to defeat their cows in starting contests during a spring agricultural festival set against the mountain landscape.