“The Arboretum is a wonderful asset for our community. This was never more apparent than during the Covid-19 shutdown this spring, when so many of us were quarantined, and community children could not attend school. The Arboretum became a haven for families and individuals who needed some outdoor time to preserve sanity! It was lovely to see people walking the pathways under the trees and soaking up sunshine on the lawns. But the Arboretum is much more than a city park. It has a deep commitment to educating us all about our environment and to providing space for these educational activities. The Arboretum has great programs for children, as you can see if you check its website. YAA is not run by the City or County, but it is a nonprofit organization that depends on the public for funding. In normal years, a good portion of it’s income is produced by rental of its facilities for meetings and large gatherings. But with our community having to shut down during the pandemic, the Arboretum has lost that resource. Another major source of income is the annual fundraiser called Autumn Bounty. This year, it has had to go virtual at a time when it has become more important than ever. The ability to keep staff employed, the grounds maintained, and its programs to get back up and running will depend on the success of Autumn Bounty. I am asking that you help us preserve this important community asset by going online to Yakima Area Arboretum, click on Autumn Bounty, and consider a membership and/or a contribution.” – Sincerely, Nicola Bocek