The Idyllwild Nature Center celebrates Memorial Day Weekend with its annual Wildflower and Art Exhibit at its location 1 mile north of Idyllwild, an event now in its 36th year.
Coordinator and Park Interpreter Jyoti Kintz described the annual trek staff and volunteers make prior to the event to habitats both on (Idyllwild and Garner Valley) and at the base of the mountain (Hemet, Banning and the desert). “We collect over 100 varieties and tag and display them in vases for residents and visitors to see the great diversity of wildflowers growing in our region,” said Kintz. Asked whether the mix in the sampled areas has changed in any significant way over the years, she did not think so. “Sometimes we see things we haven’t seen before, and then sometimes a particular flower will be absent for several sampling years and then reappear.”
An art exhibit, guided nature walks through the park, music provided by David Jerome and Keith McCabe, and speakers discussing a variety of wildflower uses complement the display.
Native Americans used plants for medicine and food. Beatriz Torres will conduct a Native American food demonstration and tasting on Saturday, and discuss seasonal native plants — integrative medical use and how to harvest appropriately. Jan Keilmann and Deborah Geisinger also talk on Saturday, he about organic farming and she about oak trees.
Valerie Phillips speaks Saturday about gardening with native and drought-tolerant plants. Idyllwild master gardeners also appear Sunday to answer questions.
The event takes place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 24, and Sunday, May 25. Park fees are $3 for adults, $2 for children and $1 for dogs.