A Favorite Local Business Springs Back to Life
Longtime locals may recall spring and summer days spent strolling the grounds of West Canyon Tree Farm years ago, selecting shrubs or flowers to plant at home with their families. From 1980 to 2007, the farm was a bustling center of activity that served green thumbs and gardening novices alike.
“People have told me that they would come here when they were kids with their parents, and they remember wandering through the trees and playing here at the farm,” says current proprietor Glenn Wright. “It was known as a ‘mecca’ of gardening supply and nursery needs before it closed to the public in 2007. What we want to do now is bring it back to what it was thirty years ago–we hope to be the first ones that people think of when they need plants, shrubs, and trees.”
Wright, who took over at West Canyon Tree Farm with his wife Diane in October 2014, worked to reopen the business to the public the following year. This wasn’t the first time Wright had helped nurture a business back to life; in fact, he has something of a knack for it.
“I’ve worked in a lot of different jobs or fields over the years, but many know that I can come in and fix a business,” he says. “I took over a landscaping business in New Mexico and turned it around, helped farms get back to being profitable, and even fixed a restaurant that was failing once, too.”
So when a friend of Wright’s proposed the idea that he turn West Canyon Tree Farm around, Wright was sold.
“Plus, my wife and I are both from Colorado and we love it here,” Wright notes. “Our kids are grown up and out of the house, so it seemed like a good opportunity for us to do something we wanted to do.”
Wright says the farm, situated between Glenwood Springs and New Castle near Canyon Creek, began as a dairy a century ago when the main house and barn were constructed in 1917. Around 1980, the land was purchased by a local family and converted into what became the original West Canyon Tree Farm. Lino Magana, who began working at the farm in 1982, was rehired as foreman by Wright in 2015 to help the business get back on its feet.
“In the 1980s it was small, but we brought it all to life,” Magana remembers. “We built a nursery, greenhouse, garden center, and I worked 26 years to the day at the farm. Because I spent so many years of my life here before, being hired again was like coming back home for me.”
Wright adds that Magana’s presence in the current operation has been key. “Welcoming Lino back in 2015 has been a vital asset in bringing about the rebirth of West Canyon Tree Farm,” he says.
This season, the farm is open and fully stocked with a vast variety of trees, shrubs, annual and perennial flowers, vegetable starts, and supplies suitable for home gardening. Wright hopes to see local families once again strolling the property, making memories together and choosing plants that they can take home and watch grow.
“We are getting to know the community in a different light and it has been quite an adventure,” he says. “Reopening to the public has been a great joy.” Visit WestCanyonTreeFarm.com for farm news and seasonal information.