Gateway Gazette

June is Wildflower Festival Time in Waterton Again!

Waterton Park, Alberta:  The wildflowers of Waterton will occupy centre stage June 15 – 20, 2017, in Waterton Lakes National Park, as the 14th annual Waterton Wildflower Festival marks the return of summer to one of Canada’s most flower-friendly places.

Waterton is often called the Wildflower Capital of Canada, because of the unique blend of ecosystems, landscapes and climate that helps to create the stunning array of more than 1000 plants that are found here. Over half of Alberta’s plant species are found in this small park, including many rare plants like the Mountain ladys slipper orchid, and the week-long Festival offers the best opportunity to get to know about these plants and the remarkable place in which they grow.

The Waterton Wildflower Festival received fantastic support from the community last year, contributed in helping the Wildflower Festival to be nominated for, and named one of three finalists for the “Sustainable Tourism” Alto Award.  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 Martinez, administrative coordinator 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, the bow of canoe, the saddle of a horse, or the screen of a slide show; or you can paint them, hear stories about them, and learn how to grow them in your own garden.

For those familiar with the Festival, Margaret Best will be back with a 3 day botanical arts workshops, Lyndon Penner will be there to share his wit and knowledge. Tea and pie will be served with side dishes of local lore and awe-inspiring panorama views at the Hawks Nest. Come visit us at the Waterton Community Centre the main hub during the festival and peruse the local art fair, held June 16-18th.

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

Tickets are on sale now and some courses are selling out, so don’t delay. 

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