MPA Wildflower Festival

Mt Pisgah Wildflower Festival

The Emerald Chapter of Native Plant Society collaborates with the Botany Programs at Lane Community College and University of Oregon to collect and display wildflowers from around Lane County each year at the Mount Pisgah Arboretum Wildflower Festival. The Festival takes place on the Sunday between Mother’s Day Weekend and Memorial Day Weekend. This is a fundraiser for the Arboretum, located within Howard Buford Recreation Area, a Lane County Park. The Arboretum and Buford Park are locations where we lead field trips and rambles several times a year.

Volunteering for the Wildflower Festival is easy and doesn’t require a huge amount of expertise. It’s a great way to start learning the flora. There are several activities we need help with each year:

  • FRIDAY collection of plants for the festival.  If you need suggestions for places to collect and permits for collection on Forest Service, BLM or city parks, contact We collect at sites from the Cascades to the valley, the Coast Range, and the coast. We collect a small bouquet of each flowering plant we find along our course (trail or roadside), following the 1 in 20 rule (to avoid collecting rare species), and bring them in to the Arboretum on Saturday. We have a list of species (lilies and rhododendrons) we do not collect according to the Oregon Wildflower Law.
  • SATURDAY – set up of the festival. We meet at 9AM (but you can bring collections in until noon) to help set up the show. There are 3 long tables in the pavilion with name tags placed by Family, in alphabetic order. Students from Lane Community College and University of Oregon will fill vases and put them out on the specimen table. We put each collected bouquet in a vase and confer with botany professors or botany professionals to get an identification. The vases are then placed next to the appropriate label on the table. Sometimes identifications are not known, so many folks will be around with floras keying plants. This is great practice if you want to improve your plant identification skills.
  • SUNDAY – festival day. NPSO has a booth at the entrance to the show, so you can volunteer to sit and greet folks coming into the display. We sell t-shirts and other NPSO items, and answer questions about the organization or native plants in particular.

Come volunteer or visit us at the festival!!