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How Denver Botanic Gardens Put Eriksen’s Encyclopedic Translation Expertise to the Test

Denver Botanic Gardens created the mobile website Garden Tool to increase visitors’ access to the Gardens’ horticultural, aesthetic, and practical resources. When Denver wanted to make the mobile site accessible to Spanish-speaking audiences, it called on Eriksen to translate everything—from art exhibitions to visitor wayfinding.

Garden Tool Mobile website - Photo © Scott Dressel-Martin

Photo © Scott Dressel-Martin

About Denver Botanic Gardens

Denver Botanic Gardens strives to entertain and delight while spreading the collective wisdom of its gardens through outreach, collaboration, and education. Its conservation programs play a major role in saving species and protecting natural habitats for future generations.

Denver’s more than 1.3 million visitors annually enjoy the Gardens in three locations: in Denver itself, at York Street; in southern Jefferson County, at Chatfield Farms; and in the Arapaho National Forest, at Mount Goliath.

Each location offers its own unique visitor experience. On 24 acres, York Street offers more than 40 gardens, from the Bristlecone Border to the Shofu-en Japanese Garden to the Orangery, as well as exhibitions of art and multiple dining options. The 700-acre Chatfield Farms is a native plant refuge and working farm outside the city. At the Plains Conservation Center, programs help students and adults grow their knowledge and appreciation of the prairie ecosystem and the cultural history of Colorado. And the 12,000-foot-elevation Mount Goliath is a fragile alpine environment managed in conjunction with the U.S. Forest Service.

Engaging the Denver Community

Denver Botanic Gardens is committed to its community. According to the U.S. Census Community Survey, in Denver County, approximately one in five members of the population—or 128,000 people—speaks Spanish at home. In its efforts to expand access and welcome local residents as well as national and international tourists, Denver undertook the initiative to make institutional signage—wayfinding and interpretation—as well as the Garden Tool bilingual. The dual-language Garden Tool is a significant way to provide deeper content for exploring the Gardens.

Translating the Garden Experience

The Garden Tool unlocks multiple ways to experience a garden: through art, architecture, music, history, and of course, landscape architecture and horticulture. Translating this material necessitated deep fluency not only of Spanish, but of each of these disciplines. And given the Gardens’ reputation, we knew that every detail of the website needed to meet the highest standards.

The Experience and Resources to Get the Job Done Right

Eriksen supports a wide range of cultural institutions—from art museums to architectural studios, civic orchestras, historic houses, and of course great public gardens and national parks. Thanks to this breadth of experience, we had the resources to assemble a team of skilled translators with in-depth knowledge of the wide range of subject matter on the mobile site. Their expertise was critical to translating the terminology accurately, in a manner that would be accessible to Spanish-speaking visitors.

Respete Las Plantas

Our team delivered translations that successfully communicate the many ways visitors can experience the gardens. To list examples from the areas mentioned above, the website includes an entry for a Rodin bronze sculpture (Un Estudio para la musa de Whistler), an engineering feat (la curva catenaria invertida), a contemporary composer (una multi-instrumentista cuyo estilo minimalista influye en su enfoque), a 150-year-old farm (una histórica estancia), the meaning of the Japanese garden Shofu-en (jardín de pinos y viento), and the Eremurus flower’s common name (cola de zorro).

And of course, no visitor resource in a public institution would be complete without practical information. The Garden Tool offers it, too, in a similarly in-depth manner as the rest of its content, on such matters as dining (gran variedad vegetariana), wheelchairs and strollers (Disfrutarán de una mejor experiencia si no abandonan los senderos pavimentados), the gift shop (Los miembros cuentan con un 10% de descuento), and garden etiquette (Por favor, respete las plantas).

Eriksen Translations is Denver Botanic Gardens’ trusted translation partner. Eriksen delivers clear, accurate translations on specialized topics ranging from horticulture and landscape architecture to art, architecture, music, and history. Thanks to their high-quality Spanish translations, our Garden Tool mobile site serves as a valuable resource for our Spanish-speaking visitors.

Lisa Eldred, Denver Botanic Gardens


Eriksen helped the Garden demonstrate its commitment to the Spanish-speaking communities of the Denver area by producing a valuable new resource. With the translated version of the Garden Tool, Spanish-speaking visitors can now engage with the garden every bit as deeply as their English-speaking counterparts.

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