Jefferson County 4-H Clubs are headquartered at the office of CSU Extension in Jefferson county, located on the Jefferson County Fairgrounds, West Sixth Avenue and Indiana Street, southwest of the city of Golden, Colorado.
The Jefferson County 4-H Seedling Tree Program is a project of the Jefferson County 4-H Council, and serves customers throughout the Denver-metro area and adjacent foothills. Known as “4-H Trees,” the program has been in operation since 1974 as a “cooperator” of the Colorado State Forest Service (CSFS), distributing seedling trees grown at the CSFS nursery located on the Foothills campus of Colorado State University, west of downtown Fort Collins. The nursery has other cooperator agencies throughout Colorado and neighboring states. Pricing is set by the nursery. The County 4-H Council earns a small commission on sales in return for handling the customer orders and overseeing customer pickup on behalf of the nursery. These earnings are used by the Council to fund countywide activities for the boys and girls who are members of the 4-H clubs throughout Jefferson County. Customers meet some of these 4-H club members when they pick up their orders at the Jeffco Fairgrounds in the spring.
Colorado State University began a statewide seedling distribution program in 1917. The conservation seedling program has been in operation since that time with an exception during the Great Depression. In 1940 the program distributed about 400,000 seedlings statewide.
In 1955 the Colorado State Forest Service agency was created as a part of CSU’s outreach program. The nursery began operations on the Foothills Campus of CSU in 1957. The peak of production was in 2002 when 2.8 million seedlings were distributed.
The nursery operates as a self-funded enterprise. The Colorado State Forest Service is a part of the Warner College of Natural Resources at Colorado State University.