TV News Report

June 13, 2011

Report from KXLH:

KXLH Report

June 2011 Flood Press Release

June 8, 2011

Unprecedented flooding of the Prickly Pear Creek in Jefferson County, Montana has destroyed a large portion of Tizer Botanic Garden and Arboretum. A rare plant collection, paths, and displays have been washed away. Volunteers spent all day Tuesday, June 7 fillings hundreds of sandbags in an attempt to preserve bridges and buildings from the devastating power of the water.

"Never in the known history of this property has such flooding occurred" remarked Richard Krott, who manages a US Weather bureau station on the propter. "1981 similar high water happened in the area but not with the devastating effects like today." Tizer Botanic Gardens and Arboretum opened to the public in 2000. Although a young garden, this amazing retreat has been gaining tremendous popularity in recent years. The gardens specialize in cold hardy, high altitude plants.

"This is our life and certainly our passion" said Belva Lotzer, owner and co-founder of the Garden. "Yesterday was a testament to this community's commitment to the garden. When our neighbors heard of our plight, they came in droves to help. We are so blessed! We will find a way to rebuild. It will be bigger and better."

Details of Damage

On Monday night (June 6) we went to bed and the creek was fine. Then, Tuesday morning we woke up to a river running through our yard and the gardens on the south side of the creek destroyed. We frantically put out a call to Carmen Craft and other folks in Helena and within 30 minutes vehicles filled with volunteers were showing up at our door. Wow, what a wonderful community we live in! By the end of the day at least 60 people had shown up to work. Gruber's delivered 4 dump truck loads of granite and the County kept giving us more sand bags. Our dear friend, Colleen Teeling spent the day in the kitchen making spaghetti by the barrel, so that people would have a hot meal. The Jefferson City Volunteer Fire Dept came out to lend a hand, AYA Students and staff, both boys and girls came and filled a ton of bags. Kerry and guests from the Boulder Hot Springs showed up to help until they found out they had their own problems. Folks from Boulder, Helena, East Helena and everywhere in between came to help.

The great news is we saved the cabins and the bridges. The main part of the garden by the gazebo is good except for being submerged in water and so are the Hummingbird, Vegetable and Rose Gardens. The sad news is the Children's garden, that we worked so hard on last fall, is totally gone. The path to the Secret Garden as well as the paths in the Shade garden are gone. We haven't been able to get back to the Secret Garden but it had at least 3 feet of water in it at one point. The small island by the gazebo is also gone and about ½ of the shade garden floated away. Buddha used to oversee the moss bed but now it is a small lake. Life is so interesting. We have temporarily closed the gardens until the water goes down, but the nursery and gift shop are open. Customers are always welcome! We will try to inform people when we reopen.

Ways You Can Help

1. Donations are being accepted at two bank accounts to assist in the restoration of the gardens:

First Boulder Valley Bank
109 W. 2nd, Boulder, MT 59632
(406) 225-4240

Montana City Bank
#9 Bankers Lane, Montana City/Clancy MT 59634
(406) 443-0497

Both accounts are under the name of TNC @ Tizer Gardens Disaster Relief Fund.

2. We are also having a Flood Sale from Saturday, June 25th through the July 4th weekend. Lots of items in the nursery and gift shop will be on sale for 20% - 50% off. The money will be used for flood restoration.

3. If you are able to volunteer your time in the garden in the coming weeks, please fill out the volunteer form below and email it back to us.

Volunteer-Form.doc or

4. The Gardens will be in need of plant material, equipment, rock, gravel, etc.. If you can donate any of these items, it would be so appreciated.