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Bee Happy Lands

Bee Happy Lands


Bee Happy Lands, a project of Turtle Lake Refuge, provides organic integrated land management within Southwestern Colorado.  We remove weeds by manually harvesting them, amending the soil with organic compost tea, mulch and compost top dressing, overseeding the area with native grasses and beneficial wild flowers. We apply a weed remedy (a biodynamic recipe made from weed seed and/or root ash and water) to help discourage the weed species from continuing to grow prolifically.

Ultimately we encourage land stability by minimally disturbing the land with our practices while increasing the practices of building the fertility of the land.

  Our focus is on creating stabilized healthy soil.  When the underground ecosystem is vital and thriving, the wild lands, grasses and garden plants grow to their full beauty and potential. Locally made compost tea is a liquid fertilizer made from finished garden compost, worm castings, molassas, and seaweed and brewed for 12 - 48 hours. Compost tea is packed full of microbes that help the native and desired plants grow.  Compost tea not only provides food for the plants and grasses, but it also creates a healthy ecosystem and stabilizes the soil, promotes microbial life, aeration, and efficient distribution of minerals and vitamins for the plants and soil microorganisms living underground. 

 The benefits of organic land stewardship practices are infinite.  As a community we can make a difference in improving the quality of life within our native ecosystems by supporting organic land stewardship practices. We aim to lessen our toxic impacts in our global ecosystems by eliminating the use and need for herbicides and chemical fertilizers. Our goal is to support the native ecosystems by building healthy soil to grow forage for the honey bee population and local pollinators and promote the health of our children, grandchildren and multi-species community.

 Bee Happy Lands can support your desire to manage your land organically!

We offer:

  • Manual weed harvesting 
  • Overseeding with native grass and wild flowers 
  • Application of compost tea
  • Spreading compost top dressing and mulch over disturbed areas
  • Applying biodynamic weed remedy
  • Converting lawns to edible gardens
  • Organic Stewardship Management Education
  • Food Forest Consultation

Please contact us at turtlelakerefuge@yahoo.com or 970-247-8395.

Thank you so much for caring about our precious earth and all the living creatures who dwell here too!


 Bee Happy Crew working in the Valley Floor of Telluride in 2017

Turtle Lake Refuge along with dedicated City Council members, staff and volunteers from our community helped establish the movement of Organic Parks in Durango. The first year, Turtle Lake Refuge collaborated with the City of Durango's Park and Recreation Department by volunteering our efforts in applying compost tea to Brookside Park, setting up bat boxes and leading weed harvesting parties. In 2010 another organic parks was added to the program.

In 2012, the City of Durango unnanamously passed an Organically Managed Lands Resolution and added 9 parks to the list of organically managed parks: Brookside, Pioneer, Riverview Sports Complex, Folsom, Fanto, Iris, Needham, Riverfront, and Schneider, making up over a third of Durango’s parks.  The City hired a national organic lands consultant, Chip Osborne, to train and help implement the organically managed lands program. Today, the community of Durango continues to be commited to managing public parks organically and educating the City staff about best management practices leading to reduction of herbicide and chemical fertilizer use on public parks and open space lands.

 Bee Happy Lands continues to teach tolerance and value of the local weeds as well as support businesses’ and homeowners’ lawns, wild lands and gardens to tranistion into organic management. Over the last serveral years, Bee Happy Lands has successfully taken on larger open space projects including 600 acres of the Electra Lake Sporting Club and 560 acres of the Town of Telluride Valley Floor. We help manage these lands through education and organic practices including manual harvest of weeds, overseeding with native grasses and flowers, amending the soil with compost, organic nutrients and mulch and application of a weed remedy (a homeo-dynamic ash water). These practices help grow the stability of the land's ecosystem resulting in the reduction of the pioneer plants (weeds) and the encouragement of diversity of species.

Below is an example of the success of our organic weed mitigation work with a Before and After picture.


Before - Picture taken in September of 2016








After - Photo taken on September of 2018


Attached Files   

IMG_0185.jpg turtlelakerefuge Sep 19, 2018 9.48 MB