Hello Arboretum Friends,

Look out! So much is happening at the Arboretum this September.

First, our traditional fall fundraiser Autumn Bounty, has been re-envisioned for 2020. No big tent, no live auction, and no partying on the courtyard. Instead you’ll find something more lowkey, fun and meaningful.  Our one day event is being turned into a month of online giving.  From September 1-26 you’ll find the Arboretum grounds dotted with colorful signage, video testimonials (we would love to hear from you too), and an online silent auction from September 9-19.  Many of you will even be receiving a refrigerator magnet in the mail announcing the event featuring the beautiful image of artist Darcie Roberts’ painting of the Arboretum’s Japanese Garden.  You’ll even get a chance to win the original painting in the silent auction!  So remember, we may not be able to Eat, Drink and Be Giving in person, but you can still show the Arboretum some love by donating online in September!

Second, did you find yourself suffering from Garden Tour withdrawal this year?  Not to worry.  We are thrilled to bring you our first ever virtual Garden Tour hosted by our very own Arboretum board member and garden guru Jeff VanTroba. Jeff will take you on a fun and informative virtual journey through five beautiful and unique local gardens. Each garden will be featured in its own stand alone video that will be released over the next four weeks in the Weekly Leaf, on the Arboretum’s YouTube channel and on the Arboretum website.  Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel so you don’t miss a single episode. Best of all, we are making them available free-of-charge to watch, however they were NOT free-of-charge to produce, so if you are able to, we are asking folks to make a donation towards their creation.  If we can cover the cost of their production then we plan to make more videos in the future on different intermountain west garden topics for your enjoyment!

And third, starting September 4 we will be hosting our first ever virtual fall plant sale.  Look for a great selection of trees and shrubs, many of them picked by Jeff VanTroba, the host of our virtual Garden Tour.  I bet you wished you had a shady tree in your yard when the weather topped 100°F earlier this month.  So go ahead and give a new tree its forever home. You will have two weeks to pre-order online for new trees and shrubs.  Curbside pickup is scheduled for Saturday, September 26th from 9am to noon.  A wise person once said, “The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The second best time is now.”

Friends, we are definitely feeling the negative impact of Covid-19.  Covid has meant no venue rentals, no gorgeous garden weddings, work retreats, colorful quinceaneras, or celebrations of life. We face a $100,000 budget shortfall this year and we are trying hard to find creative ways to recoup it. And, we are asking you for help.

As I have mentioned before, the Arboretum was founded over 50 years ago as a “beauty spot” where people could go to find joy, peace and to commune with nature. Gardens are living pieces of art that induce an emotional impact to all that experience them, whether in person, through still pictures or video. Gardens and green spaces can soothe our souls. And our community is very fortunate to have such a garden in the form of the Yakima Area Arboretum at its disposal, seven days a week, free-of-charge, from dawn until dusk.  But we can’t do it without your financial support.  So please consider donating today.

Best wishes,

Colleen Adams-Schuppe
Executive Director