Meet Our Civic Center Park Horticulturalist: Cally Dittmann

At Civic Center Park, our gardens are more than just beautiful landscapes; they are a testament to the hard work and creativity of our dedicated horticulturists. We had the pleasure of sitting down with one of our talented team members to learn more about their journey, inspirations, and the vibrant floral displays you’ll see this year.

Civic Center Conservancy: What’s your background?

Cally Dittmann: After graduating from UW Madison with degrees in Conservation Biology and Environmental Studies, I applied for a lot of different jobs. The first one I was offered was as a Maintenance Technician for a state park in Wisconsin. I found the work interesting and most importantly, I enjoyed working in the outdoors. In 2022, I moved to Colorado and accepted a maintenance position with the City and County of Denver. Last summer, a Horticulture position opened on my crew and although I didn’t have much experience, I wanted to apply! And here I am now. I had coworkers to guide me and through experience, I’ve learned what it means to be a horticulturist.

CCC: What’s your favorite thing about working in the gardens at Civic Center Park?

CD:  At Civic Center, I love that our flower beds are next to Grow Local Colorado vegetable beds. The beds side by side portray both the aesthetics and practicality of plants.

CCC: Tell us about one of the beds this year.

CD: For the 2024 flower designs, I wanted to explore the idea of color theory – the study of colors that work well together and what emotions they imbue. I mapped out the beds until I achieved the best color combinations. I also played with different textures, heights, and flower shapes. The large rectangle bed on the great lawn at Civic showcases this best. Each ‘wave’ is a different flower and color on a background of white. Each color is situated in a spot that I thought worked best to produce something visually pleasing.

CCC: What’s your favorite flower/plant?

CD: My favorite flower is the dahlia. I think it’s amazing how many different species of dahlias there are and how physically variable the plants are. This year you can find Dahlia Figaro: Orange and Dahlia Bishop’s Children in the beds at Civic Center Park.

CCC: How do you see gardens in Civic Center increasing access for the community?

CD: Civic Center hosts many different events throughout the summer that appeal to individuals with various interests and encourage them to get outside. There are concerts, food trucks for the foodies, and celebrations of cultures. When people attend these events, they are reaping the benefits of some outdoor time and enjoying our beautiful park which our Downtown parks crew works so hard to maintain with the Conservancy. During these events, the gardens are an additional attraction that serve as a wonderful photo backdrop!

We hope you enjoyed this insight into the work that goes into maintaining and beautifying Civic Center Park. Next time you visit, take a moment to appreciate the thoughtful designs and the dedication behind them.


One of Cally's designs
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