Where the wildflowers are

Arboretum hosts annual fundraiser

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Daniel Martinez / The Torch
Leisha Wood, a staff member at Mount Pisgah Arboretum, greets the Wildflower and Music Festival’s arrivals with a smile on May 20. Two buses made their rounds all day shuttling groups of visitors to the event from overflow parking.

The 24th annual Wildflower and Music Festival took place on May 20 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., featuring local music and food, entertainment and hands-on education for both children and adults. The festival was a fundraiser for the Mount Pisgah Arboretum, a non-profit living tree museum located between the Coast Fork of the Willamette River and Mount Pisgah.

Daniel Martinez / The Torch
Nancy Kiltz weaves a basket while awaiting customers at her booth at the 39th Annual Wildflower and Music Festival. On Saturday, May 20, the festival at Mount Pisgah Arboretum featured several artisan shops, food, music and hundreds of wildflowers.

Local food vendors, including Oriental Village, Ritta’s Burritos and Viva Vegetarian Grill, were on site while other vendors participated in the event as well. Artists, including Wooly Moss Roots, Nancy Kiltz and Wooden Apple, put out artwork for purchase, and vendors from the Arboretum offered information on environmental education and habitat restoration.

Hundreds of wildflowers were on display at the festival. Every hour between 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., the event featured experts on natural history who offered guided educational walks along nearby trails in the area. The walks were centered around wildflowers, but guides offered information on other plants and animals as well.

Eugene’s Satori Bob, the Traceys and the Dirty Dandelions were some of the local artists who performed at WMF, playing to raise money for the Arboretum. Seven music groups took the stage, playing back-to-back and transitioning hourly.

The Art in Nature Trail, an event inspired by the work of Andy Goldsworthy, celebrated its ninth anniversary at the WMF this year.  The trail gives local artists the opportunity to display their outdoor art throughout the festival, with the participating artists required to use natural materials in their work. Over the years, the trail has grown to be considered one of the highlights of the festival by those who attend yearly.

Daniel Martinez / The Torch
Botanist Glen Cole views a variety of native and exotic plants featured under the White Oak Pavillion at the 39th Annual Wildflower and Music Festival on Saturday, May 20. Cole gained a fascination with plants when tending them as a boy.

The majority of proceeds from food purchases, shopping and ticket sales at the festival were donated to the Arboretum. The WMF, which is open to people of all ages and free to kids under 12, helps to fund the Arboretum’s donation-based work in habitat restoration and environmental education.

The Native Plant Society of Oregon and Lane Community College co-sponsored the Wildflower Music Festival. The next wildflower event, a three-mile Middle Fork Trail Spring Wildflower Walk on Wednesday, May 23, will be put on by NPSO and the Willamalane Park District.

The next Wildflower and Music Festival will take place in May 2019 at the Arboretum.