Mount Pisgah Arboretum has a rich history and interesting evolution that continues today. Here is a brief listing of landmark events:
1969 – 1979
Eugene Mayor appoints Committee to establish an international arboretum featuring trees from around the world.
Governor McCall announces new state park, the Howard Buford Recreation Area (HBRA), a 2,300-acre, ecologically diverse tract on Coast Fork of Willamette River, to include an 118-acre Arboretum.
Committee incorporates in 1973 as the International Arboretum Association (IAA) and leases land from state.
First Tree Time newsletter published.
Active management of the site begins, including clearing of weedy species, trail and bridge building, monthly work parties, and cooperation with local youth agencies.
IAA changed in 1978 to Friends of Mount Pisgah Arboretum (FMPA).
1980 – 1984
First paid staff hired.
One mile Nature Trail finished with numbered stations.
Free formal Outdoor Education Program emphasizing ecology begins in 1980 with 1,000 schoolchildren participating.
First Spring Wildflower and Fall Mushroom Shows held (1982).
River Trail built and dedicated to late Governor McCall with coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) planting.
1985 – 1987
Patricia Baker Memorial Wildflower Garden established.
School children plant Ginkgo biloba during Arbor Week, starting an annual event.
First educational displays constructed.
Species rhododendron garden begun.
Entrance area information kiosk built.
Visitor Center opens, staffed by volunteers.
Education program, with 50 volunteers, reaches 2,000+ children.
Lane County assumes HBRA and FMPA lease agreement from state.
1988 – 1995
County contracts with FMPA for maintenance and supervision of Howard Buford Recreation Area.
MPA business office opens in nearby Emerald People’s Utility District building.
Outdoor education program increases by 25%.
Master Plan, funded by grants from Meyer Memorial Trust, completed.
First Executive Director hired.
Education program adds fall session, offers a variety of seasonal curricula for returning classes, and serves 3,000 children.
1996 – 1997
New 50-year lease expands Arboretum to 209-acres.
Renovations to Visitor Center and barn started.
7+ miles of all-weather trails and 22 bridges completed.
Parking lot plantings started.
Redwood Grove enhanced, and So. Oregon and N. California species are acquired for future plantings.
Waterways curricula added to Education Program.
1998 – 2005
Staff moves into new on-site office building
First summer camp begins at the Arboretum
Board votes to change the organization’s corporate name from “Friends of Mount Pisgah Arboretum” to “Mount Pisgah Arboretum”
White Oak Pavilion completed and first wedding takes place here.
2007 – 2011
Mount Pisgah Arboretum receives the Cecil R. and Elaine H. Armes Memorial Fund
Beginning of comprehensive interpretation planning funded by Hallador Foundation
MPA hosts first annual Summer Celebration as its Annual Meeting
2012 – 2015
Mission changed to focus on native trees and ecology
Established volunteer Park Watch program in partnership with Lane County and Friends of Buford Park
Rebuilt front entrance bridge and Tom McCall Bridge
Sea Reach, Ltd. provides Master Interpretive Plan & brochure
Adkison Bridge (in Water Garden) completed and opened to the public
Mount Pisgah Arboretum named one of Oregon’s Top 100 Green Companies for the first time.
New road signs installed at park and Arboretum entrance
2016 – 2019
First Interpretive Node, the Wetlands Exhibit—an interactive wildlife viewing blind—is installed int the Water Garden
Parking lot is redesigned with new traffic pattern and signage
The Arboretum is named one of Oregon’s 100 Best Nonprofits to Work For
Update to our mission: to engage people with nature through interactive learning and stewardship
New landscaping completed at the White Oak Pavilion
Second interpretive exhibit, the Incense-cedar Exhibit, sponsored by Mountain Rose Herbs, is completed and opened to the public
Mount Pisgah Arboretum celebrates 45 years since incorporation
Third Interpretive Node, The Oak Woodlands Exhibit completed March, 2018
Fourth Interpretive Node, The Oak Savanna Exhibit is completed July, 2019