President & Certified Landscape Designer, Eva Montane
Holds a bachelor’s in Botany
Spent 3 seasons working on organic veggie farms
Certified in Permaculture Design
Spent 5 seasons working as a field botanist
Guide for Crested Butte’s annual week-long Wildflower Festival 2007-2015
Spent 3 years as VP of SW chapter of Colorado Native Plant Society
Completed the CSU Master Gardener program; helped facilitate the program in subsequent year
Owned Gardens by Eve, LLC maintenance and design company in Durango 2007-12
Toured South Africa with Panayoti Kelaidis, Senior Curator of Denver Botanic Gardens 2008
Co-designed Durango Public Library’s Plant Select demonstration garden and served on the board of Durango Botanical Society
Developed AbundantEarthGardens.com to educate western gardeners through audio and photo presentations from celebrated regional gardeners
Wrote Colorado Country Life’s monthly garden column 2009-2014
Earned a certificate from California School of Garden Design 2011
Featured in a 2017 Green Industry article as a woman in landscaping
Presented Winter Interest in the Landscape at Idaho Botanical Garden’s Rethinking Idaho’s Landscapes symposium in Boise 2018
Presented on Fire-wise Landscaping for Durango Botanical Society 2018
Operations Manager, Desiree Baranczyk
Desiree received Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Administration from Fort Lewis College.
She filled the role of Manager after a full season with Columbine as a member of the crew in the field where she became familiar with our work, clients, and philosophy.
Her professional interests focus on helping clients get their needs met, and beautifying the landscape. In addition, she has graduated from the Colorado Master Gardener program.
Born and raised in Colorado, Desiree has a strong love for nature. She grew up in Salida which is a small town where the main source of entertainment is doing things outdoors. Because of this orientation and desire, finding a career that involved getting outside was a necessity. Columbine fosters this as well as a way to continue learning and growing personally.
I am from Eagle, Colorado and I came to Durango because it’s larger than what I’m used to. You have to be a pretty boring person to get bored in Durango, and everyone is just so nice. It’s big enough to see someone new every second, but you still see the same familiar faces everyday. I love the diversity of the climate, desert to mountains. Makes for great camping from spring to fall and interesting gardening!
I look forward to taking the Master Gardener course this year!
Columbine is such a great company and crew to work with. We all inspire each other everyday, have fun, and learn new things from each other. My favorite thing to do at work is to just (artfully!) prune the heck out of a shrub invading a pathway; nothing better. So satisfying.
I hope to carry on the future working with plants in some way!
Crew Leader, Alycia Engelbrecht
After receiving a degree in Environmental Studies from CMC in Steamboat Springs, CO, Alycia moved to Durango to work for the Southwest Conservation Corps. She immediately fell in love with the idea of getting paid to work outside full time. It turns out hard work and getting to experience nature’s changes on a daily basis is extremely rewarding.
In her off time, Alycia has been enjoying all of the mountain biking trails Durango and the surrounding areas have to offer. In her “on time”, she loves working with Columbine and getting to know all of the awesome people and places it takes her.
All in all, Alycia is looking forward to developing her knowledge of Ecology and landscaping. She’s stoked to see everything Columbine and the community of Durango have to offer.
Crew Leader, Lauren Montgomery
Being raised on a farm in Alabama, Lauren grew up learning about plants and loving the wildflowers her grandfather sowed in the family garden each year.
As an artist she enjoys incorporating beauty and color into each landscape. In her current position, she is thrilled at the opportunities to learn more about our beautiful planet and to help clients take time to relish in the beauty that is brought to their homes.
Lauren plans to attend University for Landscape Architecture and design in the near future.
Crew Leader, Grace Landry
Grace is a native to La Plata county and loves her home for all of its varied natural beauty. After
graduating from Fort Lewis College with a degree in Spanish Language and Business
administration, she is excited to move forward into the next chapter of life and learning—while
being able to speak Spanish! She seeks to continue her path of education in every form, and
further her knowledge of local plants while working outside.
In her free time she enjoys cultivating her creative writing skills via song writing and hopes to record a demo album this year. She loves the wild flowers of the San Juans and takes every opportunity to look for her favorite flowers with her boyfriend, an equally avid lover of the world of plants.
Columbine has given her a chance to apply new skills and stimulate her intuitive sense of the world around us. Life’s a garden, dig it!