Dear Arboretum Friends,

First let’s start with some good news. Despite all the cancelling and postponing of events and classes in the coming months, the Yakima Area Arboretum grounds will continue to be open for your enjoyment and mental health. If you feel up to it, come out and take a walk, do a little bird watching, or hug a tree. You will feel better for it. In another week you should also bring your camera because the flowering cherries in front of the Japanese Garden are just about to bloom!

Now for the sad news. Like so many organizations we are taking the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak very seriously. Containing community spread is the best thing we can do to protect ourselves, our volunteers, and community. That being said, like many others we are cancelling or postponing many of our upcoming classes and events, including cancelling our annual spring cleanup of the Arboretum grounds Pulling of the Greens on Saturday, March 21. Please check our website calendar for updates as we move forward.

Starting tomorrow, Saturday, March 14, the Jewett Interpretive Center will be open by appointment-only to safeguard our staff and volunteers. Please call 509-248-7337 before stopping by. Until then, we are sanitizing daily and have placed hand sanitizer stations at building entrances for your use.

The public restroom by the Memorial Rose Garden will continue to remain open during daylight hours in case of bathroom emergencies.

Remember, nature has so many wonders, both good and the bad, and Yakima has so many wonderful outdoor spaces for you to enjoy besides the Arboretum. If social distancing is driving you crazy and you need a change of scenery go for a drive through the Yakima River Canyon, take a walk through one of our many city parks, ride your bike along the Yakima Greenway or take a hike through the beautiful Cowiche Canyon Conservancy properties.

You might also consider starting that vegetable or flower garden you have always wanted. Now is the perfect time to get planning.

Stay healthy friends, we care about you, and look forward to shaking your hand again in the future.

Colleen Adams-Schuppe, Executive Director