CSU Spur – The New Education Kid in Town

By Valerie Podmore, CSU Extension – Denver Master Gardener since 2020

Trigger Warning…Terrible rhyming ahead!

Hey everybody, have you heard

About the amazing new campus called CSU Spur?

It’s a science-based learning center

Teaching all kinds of subjects

And the beauty of it is that

it’s free and open to the public!

What is this “Spur” about which you rhyme so poorly?

CSU Spur is an offshoot of Colorado State University, a new urban campus in Denver which aims to educate the public in subjects which affect us all as citizens of this planet and Colorado. Spur’s focus is on engaging pre-K-12 youth in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) subjects and encourage their participation in related careers. Not only are there educational programs focused on food, water, and health, but community outreach, research, and partnerships with schools and industry.

While there’s something to do and see almost every day at Spur, the family fun really happens on the 2nd Saturday of every month.  Check the continually updated events page for new activities. In addition, school groups are welcome so get in contact to schedule a visit!

CSU Spur is located at the National Western Center, just north of I-70 between Washington Street and Brighton Boulevard. It consists of three separate buildings on the National Western Center campus: Vida, Terra, and Hydro (opening January 2023).

Terra

Terra is the earth sciences building, where agriculture is brought to life in a way that educates us ‘regular folk’ on where our food comes from and how we can all participate in creating a food future that is sustainable and benefits all.

At Terra you can observe plant and food growth research, participate in cooking classes, watch the creation of new food products in the innovation lab, see how agriculture can take place even in urban spaces like on the green roof of Terra, and inside you’ll see the most amazing plant wall!

Not only is it pretty (remarkable!) but this year the green roof’s vegetable garden produced an amazing amount of produce which was donated to a local food pantry partner, Growhaus. Read about it here.

The Soil, Water and Plant Testing Laboratory, formerly located in Fort Collins, has moved to Spur! This is a great facility to assist with learning what our soil needs, what might be wrong with our plants, and how best to treat them. This blog explains how soils testing can help us create a great garden.

Terra is the place if you want to learn about food and plant careers, as the best of agriculture education happens here!

Vida

Vida is the human and animal health and life sciences location! Focused on the connection between humans and animals, Vida aims to educate and engage people about animal and human health.

Interested in learning about veterinary work? Come watch dog and cat surgeries at the Dumb Friends League Veterinary Hospital. The DFL’s aim at Spur is to focus on connections between human and animal life. It’s a teaching hospital for veterinarians in training with the goals of community engagement, education in the humane treatment of animals and the effects animals have on us humans as well. Check it out here.

The Equine Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Center helps horses needing physical rehab and therapy to recover from injuries and is also available for viewing by the public.

If you’re familiar with CSU Professor Temple Grandin, you know that large animals and their humane treatment are her passion. At the Temple Grandin Equine Center, a variety of therapies are available for individuals with a range of challenges utilizing the Vida horses.

Hydro

Hydro is close to complete, opening January 6th of 2023!

This will be the water education center, where you can learn about the far-reaching impact of the waters which begin here in Colorado. Located adjacent to the Platte River, the public can learn about headwaters and watersheds.

Hydro will house a café using produce grown onsite, include many different art exhibits, contain a variety of spaces for meetings and learning. It will be the permanent home of CSU Masters of Agribusiness and Food Innovation Management, the CSU Water in the West Symposium and other programs.

As water is so important here in the West, this building will be a wonderful learning and solution-focused resource.

Trust us, just GO!

The new CSU Spur campus has so much available, it’s hard to put it all in one post. It is truly is amazing and will only grow and improve as time continues, so check out the FAQ page and plan a visit – you might be surprised what you learn!

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