About Shane Smith
Shane Smith has a BS in Horticultural Science, attained his registration as a “Horticultural Therapist, (HT)” from the American Horticultural Therapy Association. In 1989-90, he served as a Loeb Fellow in Advanced Environmental Studies at Harvard University.
Since its inception in 1977, Smith has been the director (and a founder) of the Cheyenne
Botanic Gardens, Wyoming’s only public botanic garden. It is a volunteer-centered project (mostly seniors, youth and handicapped volunteers) with an emphasis on community and sustainability. The operation includes 9 acres of developed grounds, one of the nation’s oldest and largest solar-heated and solar-powered greenhouses, and the recently opened Paul Smith Children’s Village, which is the nation’s first public children’s garden to receive LEED Platinum designation. In August of 2012 Cheyenne voters approved a $16 million renovation and expansion of the Cheyenne Botanic Garden’s solar heated greenhouse/conservatory on an optional sales tax. Additionally, Smith is currently in the early stages of developing the 62-acre High Plains Arboretum sited on the site of a former USDA horticultural research station.
The book, “Greenhouse Gardener’s Companion” authored by Smith and published by Fulcrum, is a top selling greenhouse book for home hobbyists. It was first released in 1982 and is now in its 3rd edition. Also in 1982, he wrote “The Frost Free Greenhouse,” for the Department of Energy. It was the first book written on the subject of farming with unheated large greenhouses using only the design of the structure and solar heat to prevent frost, which are now commonly called “high tunnels” or “hoop houses.”
Beginning with his first garden radio program while in college in 1975, he has had a continual involvement in bringing gardening to the public via radio. Since 1978, he has produced a garden-oriented radio program on KFBC-AM in Cheyenne and is the longest continually running regularly scheduled radio program in the city.
Under Smith’s leadership, the Gardens have received recognition awards from Presidents Reagan, Bush (senior) and Clinton.
Smith individually is the recipient of the Community Hero award from Wyoming Governor Geringer; the Wyoming Business Council Award of Excellence for starting the State of Wyoming’s first modern farmer’s market; the 2011 Award of Merit from the American Public Garden Association; the 2012 Great Gardener Professional Award from the American Horticultural Society; and the 2012 National Garden Clubs Award of Excellence for his contributions to gardening and horticulture.
For over 36 years, Smith has consulted and lectured nationally on gardening, horticultural therapy, greenhouses, public garden design and community greening in 28 different states, Mexico, Venezuela and Canada.