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 and was hired to help facilitate the program in subsequent years
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 in 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
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 in 2018
Is a bonifide plant head
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.
Crew Leader, Time Tracking Specialist, Annuals Planting Project Manager, Holiday Decorator, Colleen Hefferan
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, Ariel Svetlik-McCarthy
Ariel recently moved to Durango from Juneau, Alaska. She, her husband Patrick and husky-mutt Bear picked Durango as their new home because of the amazing outdoor opportunities and the draw of the small mountain town.
While in Alaska Ariel studied at the University of Alaska Southeast, receiving a BLA in Outdoor Studies with a minor in Fine Arts, made Dean’s list and was the Outstanding Graduate of the ODS Program.
She is excited to work for Columbine because of her love of an active life in the outdoors and the amazing team she has the opportunity to work with. She tends to enjoy some of the more labor intensive jobs out there, such as mulching or tree removal.
Moving forward, Ariel aspires to involve herself in engaging and challenging work that still allows for an active lifestyle in the mountains.
Crew Leader, Estimator, Jacqueline Hess
Jacqueline was born and raised in Durango, Co. All the wonderful things that Durango has to offer has eventually brought her back home. She loves the mountains, climbing, hiking, fishing, and the wonderful community here in Durango.
Jacqueline received her degree in Mechanical Engineering from Colorado State University. Her passions lie in the energy field and her goal is to create a sustainable environment. In addition to engineering, Jacqueline loves art and can often be found in the garage playing with metal or recreating someone else’s trash into something useful or beautiful.
Columbine’s awesome crew and initiative to create a beautiful landscape keeps Jacqueline enthusiastic about working at Columbine. She believes at Columbine, there is always something to learn and always opportunity to create beauty in and for our environment.
Waste Reduction Manager, Kate Dillon
Kate grew up in Pittsburgh, PA, but a love of the vast outdoors brought her (and her dog) to Durango. She likes the close proximity to both the mountains and the desert, and seeing lizards scurrying here and there still gives her a thrill.
Kate loves being outdoors all day and helping living things flourish and bloom, and the awesome crew makes the days fly by. Her favorite task is deadheading shasta daisies (so satisfying) and, for some reason, wrestling thistles out of the ground.
She received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Duquesne University, and while she still writes, she prefers spending her workdays outdoors among plants. She loves learning about botany and water-wise landscaping, and is excited to take the Colorado Master Gardener course. She hopes to work for the National Park Service or the US Forest Service someday.
Holiday Decorating Czarina, Brooke Hampton
Brooke moved to Durango from Pagosa Springs to get a taste of “big city” life. She loves exploring nature in every active way possible. Mountain biking has been her most recent challenge – she thinks it’s exciting and terrifying. When she isn’t removing weeds from mulched beds or on an outdoor adventure, she enjoys lots of herbal tea, books, and artistic endeavors.
She loves working with the Columbine crew – it’s such an enthusiastic group! Her favorite part of every day is when she gets to deadhead flowers. So tedious, and so satisfying.
Brooke’s ultimate goal in life is to have the biggest garden you’ve ever seen, live by a river, and make all of the local children think she’s a witch. But for now, living in Durango and working in the sunshine seems to be working very well.