Community

Arboretum, Pisgah group merging

There’s strength in numbers. 

That’s one of the reasons why the Mount Pisgah Arboretum is joining forces with the Friends of Buford Park. For 32 years, the two nonprofit groups kept plugging along – oftentimes taking aim at similar goals. Now, at least they’ll all be on the same team. 

Simply known as Mt. Pisgah, Howard Buford Recreation Area (HBRA) is Lane County’s largest park at 2,214 acres. Each year about 500,000 visitors seek to scale Pisgah’s 1,518-foot summit. During the next two years – while the merger goes through – the two groups have resolved to combine their resources and talents to offer the community a more scenic landscape. 

Open to the public since 1973, HBRA is home to Mount Pisgah Arboretum, a 209-acre natural area where children and adults learn about local ecology on the Arboretum’s seven miles of trails through a range of native habitats.

1n 1989, the Friends of Buford Park & Mount Pisgah formed to protect and enhance native ecosystems and compatible recreation, foster community stewardship of natural areas, improve and maintain recreational trails, grow native plants for habitat restoration, and work to bring more lands in the Mount Pisgah area into conservation status.

 “Over the years, the missions of both organizations have evolved in similar directions,” Arboretum Board Chair Karen Anderson said. “Also, the current stability of both organizations makes 2022 an ideal year to merge the two into one legal entity. 

“And what better way to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the establishment of Buford Park,” she said.