Colorado Horticulture Research & Education Foundation

CHREF The Colorado Horticulture Research & Education     Foundation (CHREF) plays a lead role in developing new   leaders and applied science for the nursery and   greenhouse industry. CHREF has contributed more than   $267,000 to research and more than $256,000 to   scholarships since the mid 80's.


Research - Research is carried out by students and faculty at Colorado State University in Fort Collins and Front Range Community College in Westminster.  Research projects for 2019 include:
  • Woody Plant Evaluations for the High Plains & Rocky Mountain Region
  • A Multi-site Woody Plant Evaluation
  • Plant Select® Stock Plant Management Protocol

Scholarships - Each year CHREF awards scholarships to aspiring college students based on an evaluation of their industry experience, sincerity and commitment to a career in horticulture, knowledge and financial need. Scholarship winners are recognized at CNGA's annual Industry Celebration and receive a complimentary membership to CNGA for one year. Through the Arbor Valley Scholarship, the Larry Watson Scholarship, Phil Finnel Scholarship and the Cary Hall Scholarship, CHREF awarded a total of $14,000 in 2018 to seven students. 

To Donate to the Foundation - Contact CNGA at 303.758.6672, [email protected], or mail a check to the Colorado Horticulture Research & Education Foundation (CHREF), 959 S. Kipling Pkwy, Suite 200, Lakewood, CO 80226.

Fundraising Events - Two annual events provide great fellowship opportunities for members while also providing critical fundraising opportunities - the annual Golf Tournament and the live and silent auctions held at the Industry Celebration in conjunction with ProGreen EXPO.

The Pinery Country Club 

2019 CHREF Fundraiser Golf Tournament     
September 23rd, Riverdale Golf Club, Brighton, CO

Enjoy a great day of fun and social networking while supporting CHREF. 
Download the registration and sponsorship form

Gus, the CHREF Gnome

Industry Celebration and Auction
This marquee event raises money for CHREF through silent and live auctions, featuring the prestigious gnome, Gus, who commands a  premium bid for the honor of giving him a home for a year. The annual event is held in conjunction with ProGreen Expo.

 Read Gus's story! 

CHREF Board of Directors 

President - Matt Edmundson, Arbor Valley Nursery
Vice President - Mike Kintgen, Denver Botanic Gardens
Secretary/Treasurer - Steve Echter, Echter’s Nursery & Garden Center

- Gary Epstein, CCNP, Fort Collins Wholesale
- Jack Fetig, Fossil Creek Nursery
- Gene Pielin, Gulley Greenhouse
- Mike Schleining, CCNP, Arbor Valley Nursery
- Dr. Jim Klett, Ph.D. – Ex-officio Director, CSU Dept. of Horticulture & Landscape Architecture
- Allison Gault, MBA, CAE – Executive Director, Colorado Nursery & Greenhouse Association