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   $270,000 to research and more than $273,000 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 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 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 $17,000 in 2019 to ten 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. 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.

The Pinery Country Club 

2020 CHREF Fundraiser Golf Tournament     
September 21st, Riverdale Golf Club, Brighton, CO

Enjoy a great day of fun and social networking while supporting CHREF. 
Registration information to be available in July. For questions, please contact CNGA.

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
  • Glenda Mostek – Executive Director, Colorado Nursery & Greenhouse Association