Colorado Horticulture Research & Education Foundation

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 $300,000 to research and $297,000 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 funded in 2021 included:
  • Woody Plant and Herbaceous Perennial Evaluations for the High Plains & Rocky Mountain Region
  • Plant Select® Greenhouse Media, Fertilizer and Plant Growth Regulator Study
  • Plant Select® Photoperiod Study
  • A Multi-site Woody Plant Evaluation

Scholarships - Each year CHREF awards scholarships to aspiring college students from Colorado State University and Front Range Community College. Winners are based on an evaluation of their industry experience, sincerity and commitment to a career in horticulture, knowledge and financial need. Scholarship recipients 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 $19,000 in 2020 to eleven students. 

How To Donate to the Foundation - We invite you to read this donation request letter that highlights CHREF's mission and how you can become a financial supporter. Making a donation is easy and convenient by using this online form. Or you can download and return this printed form. For further information, please contact CNGA at 303.758.6672 or [email protected].

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.

2023 CHREF Fundraiser Golf Tournament     
September 19, Arrowhead Golf Club, Littleton, Colorado

Enjoy a great day of fun and social networking while supporting CHREF. 
For more information, registration and sponsorship opportunities, click here.

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 - Jack Fetig, Fossil Creek Nursery
Vice President - Mike Kintgen, Denver Botanic Gardens
Secretary/Treasurer - Steve Echter, Echter’s Nursery & Garden Center


  • Matt Edmundson, Arbor Valley Nursery
  • Gary Epstein, CCNP, Fort Collins Wholesale
  • Jan Gulley, Gulley Greenhouse
  • Diana Reavis, Eason Horticultural Resources
  • Mike Schleining, CCNP, Arbor Valley Nursery
  • Dr. Jim Klett, Ph.D. – Ex-officio Director, CSU Dept. of Horticulture & Landscape Architecture
  • Glenda Mostek – Executive Director, Colorado Nursery & Greenhouse Association