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 2,363-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.
  • AA 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 (disabled-accessible) established.
  • School children plant Ginkgo biloba during Arbor Week, starting an annual event.
  • First educational displays constructed.
  • Restrooms built.
  • 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 – 1989



  • County contracts with FMPA for maintenance and supervision of Howard Buford Recreation Area.
  • MPA business office opens in nearby Emerald People‚Äôs Utility District building.
  • Handicapped accessible rest rooms completed.


1990 – 1993



  • Outdoor education program increases by 25%.
  • Master Plan, funded by grants from Meyer Memorial Trust, completed.


1994 – 1995



  • 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 – 2000



  • David Douglas Monument completed on South Boundary Trail.
  • Fire burns 123 acres of Upper Bowl to summit of Mt. Pisgah.


2000 – 2003



  • First Arbor Day Plant Sale held in April 2001.
  • First extended workshops on gardening with native plants given.
  • New, on-site office completed for use by Arboretum staff.
  • 30th Anniversary of Arboretum celebrated.
  • Campaign to replace Quonset Hut begun.


2004 – 2007



  • 900 sq. ft. lean-to added to the east side of Great Meadow Barn.
  • 3,000 sq. ft. White Oak Pavilion completed.
  • Lane County paves Entrance Road after completing a new Coast Fork bridge.
  • Insulated Bob Dickson Shop completed in Great Meadow Barn.


2008 – 2011



  • Two support buildings east of the White Oak Pavilion completed.
  • Oak Savanna Trail completed.
  • 30th Annual Mushroom Festival held October 30, 2011.