Our Education Programs
Mount Pisgah Arboretum’s Education Program has been serving the community since 1981, longer than any other outdoor environmental education program in the Eugene area. The Arboretum’s 209 acres–which incorporate diverse ecological habitats from riparian meadows to oak savannas, and open plateaus to forested hillsides–feature an unparalleled mixture of native and introduced trees, shrubs, wildflowers, mosses, lichens, and other species.
Mount Pisgah Arboretum is continually trying to offer new and exciting programs to the Lane County community. One of the primary missions of MPA is to reconnect the community with the native ecosystems through education and example. MPA hosts a number of events annually, offering many opportunities for visitors to learn more about the Arboretum.
Explore the natural world. Mount Pisgah Arboretum invites you to participate in our many programs:
School Field Trips:
The Arboretum’s Discovery Tours Program, established in 1981, is the largest and longest-running environmental education program of its kind in Lane County. Each Spring and Fall, 3000 K-5th grade students hike the Arboretum trails with trained nature guides and participate in environmental education activities and games.
Walks and Workshops:
Walks and Workshops are nature activities offered year-round. Seasonally based, you can never expect the same activity over and over, they’re always changing!
In 2001, the Arboretum installed its first interpretive sign overlooking the Great Meadow to educate visitors about oak savanna habitats. The sign discusses the importance of this habitat for native peoples, and how the area is being managed to conserve this vanishing ecosystem type. More interpretive signs are planned for each major plant community found in the Arboretum.
Self Guided Nature Trails
For independent learners, the Arboretum offers two brochures that hikers can use on a self-guided tour of the trails. The “Children’s Guide to the Nature Trail” leads users along a one-mile long nature trail with numbered stations to follow along with. “Exploring the Forest” is a brochure for all ages that offers ecological information for a variety of habitats and along several different trails.
Other arboretum collections that are educational in nature and available to the public include: (1) A collection of framed, scientifically accurate watercolor paintings of native Willamette Valley plants by the late artist Frances Cushing Hall. These are hung in the administrative offices. (2) A collection of approximately 700 slides of Arboretum plants, animals and ecological features. (3) A library containing hundreds of natural history and gardening books. Contact Jenny Laxton, Education Program Coordinator, to find out about these latter two collections.
Large Group Reservation Policy
Although there is no admission fee, the increasing popularity of the Arboretum and our educational programs necessitates that large groups make a reservation prior to their visit. Scheduling groups prevents overcrowding on the trails during the busy season and insures us, and our visitors, that one scheduled event does not negatively impact another so that all of us have a pleasant outdoor experience. Please contact the Arboretum office at 541-747-3817 if you plan to come out in a group larger than 10. We encourage groups larger than 10 to give a donation of $1 per person to help Mount Pisgah Arboretum offset costs related to visitor impacts to the site.