Gateway Gazette

June is Wildflower Festival Time in Waterton Again!

Waterton Park, Alberta: The wildflowers of Waterton will occupy centre stage June 13 – 18, 2019, in Waterton Lakes National Park, as the 16th annual Waterton Wildflower Festival marks the return of summer to one of Canadas most flower-friendly places.

Waterton is often called the Wildflower Capital of Canada, because of the unique blend of wind, water and climate that helps to create the stunning array of more than 1000 plants that are found here. Over half of Albertas plant species are found in this small park, including many rare plants like the Mountain ladys slipper orchid. The 6-day Festival offers the best opportunity to get to know about these plants and the remarkable place in which they grow. A wildfire, which hit the park in 2017, has removed canopy cover and sparked the growth of small plants even more. The opulence of wildflowers was amazing in 2018. We expect the show of wildflowers to be marvelous each year in a new and different way. Discover how the cycle of life brings forth beauty and renewal.

The Waterton Wildflower Festival received fantastic support from the community, contributed in helping the Wildflower Festival to be nominated for, and named one of three finalists for the Sustainable TourismAlto Award in 2016. The Alto Awards are prestigious, provincial-level, annual awards presented by Travel Alberta, the Provincial agency that spearheads tourism in Alberta. During the Travel Alberta Industry Conference Alto Gala, the Wildflower Festival was described to the entire industry as:

A multiday educational program, the Waterton Wildflower Festival takes place every June in Waterton Lakes National Park. It offers a variety of field classes, group tours and classroom presentations with expert guides. “We are proud of the opportunity we provide for visitors and residents to learn about the flora of Waterton, their features, the role they play in the ecosystem, and the numerous plants that are indigenous to Waterton,” says Mariajose Robinson, Community Manager – Program and Services for the Waterton Park Community Association, which runs the festival.

Through guided walks and evening talks, experts will share their knowledge of all things floral, while photography and art workshops will allow you to capture close-ups and blossoms artistically. You can seek out flowers from the edge of a hiking trail, or the screen of a slide show; or you can paint them, hear stories about them, and learn to appreciate everything they have to offer. This year some programs are targeted to families and children, come build a birdhouse.

For those familiar with the Festival, Lyndon Penner will be there to share his wit and knowledge, Alan Dyer will teach you to take some great Night Sky pictures, and learn how First Nations used plants from this area with Brenda Holder. Come visit us at the Waterton Community Centre the main hub during the festival and peruse the local artisan fair, held June 14-16th .

For more information and tickets go to: www.watertonwildflowers.com or phone toll-free 1-877-780-1998

Tickets are on sale and some courses are selling out, so dont delay.

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