A walk among the flowers

Mount Pisgah Arboretum to host its yearly Wildflower & Music Festival


On Sunday, May 20 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mount Pisgah Arboretum will host its annual Wildflower & Music Festival, complete with guided trail walks, art exhibitions, food and live music.

The Arboretum features forests, meadows and gardens of living plants that span 209 acres between the Willamette River’s Coast Fork and Mount Pisgah. The Wildflower & Music Festival will showcase about 300 to 400 different wildflower species.

One of the most prominent features of the Wildflower & Music Festival is nature walks led by professional guides. This will be the Arboretum’s 39th Guided Walk. Hundreds of wildflower species will be during the walk, but other plants and animals will be viewed and identified as well.

The event will also include an Art in Nature Trail, which will showcase local artists’ works and designs made from natural materials. The Art in Nature Trail “has grown into a festival favorite for artists and audiences alike,” the Mount Pisgah Arboretum website states.

Brad van Appel, who has been the executive director for Mount Pisgah Arboretum for nearly ten years, said that when the festival first started, the attendees were “mostly just a bunch of plant nerds.” However, about 2,000 to 3,000 people from various age groups and backgrounds have shown up to each festival in recent years.

“It’s a big, fun family event that teaches the community about nature,” Appel said. “It’s really for anyone who loves nature and wants to have a good time.”

In addition to walks and art exhibits, the festival will include booths that will be selling crafts, native plants, houseplants and food. Other booths will present information about nonprofit organizations and others will be open to children to participate in craft-making and face-painting.

The Wildflower & Music Festival is co-hosted and sponsored by the Native Plant Society of Oregon and Lane Community College. It is a free event that encourages a donation of $8 per person above twelve years old. According to the Arboretum’s website, all donations and purchases at the event will help fund the organization’s “work in habitat restoration and environmental education.”