Buford Park/Mt. Pisgah/Emerald Meadows is a jewel. by Pat Farr


If you’ve never been to Lane County’s Buford Park which features the magnificent Mt. Pisgah and it arboretum and Emerald Meadows at the confluence of the Coast and Middle Forks of the Willamette River you owe it to yourself to visit there.  If you have been there before, go back often at all times of the year.  There is nothing like it.

Camas blooming in the meadows at Buford Park

Camas blooming in the meadows at Buford Park

It is not a place for large invasive mass gatherings with blasting music lasting for days into the small hours of the morning.  It’s not a place where unruly crowds that leave untenable messes for the park’s neighbors and stewards to clean up should be allowed.  It’s not a place that should be choked by mile-long lines of misbehaving drivers who wait impatiently to get in and out while people who live nearby are blocked in or out of their homes.  It’s not a place for a music festival such as the one Kaleidoscope dropped in there last year (the summer of 2013).

But is it a place where a far more gentle audience of friendly and courteous lovers of nature along with their own particular sort of congregation and music can coexist with others who want to use the park or who live nearby?  An audience that is committed to leaving the place cleaner and more appealing to the next visitor than they found it?

Well, we may never know.

The Lane County Board of Commissioners voted 4-1 to cancel future (already contracted) events at the park after the upcoming 2014 season.  This cancellation includes Faerieworlds, which is the type of event that I described in paragraph two, above.  I was the dissenting vote.

The reason that I cast the negative vote was not because I am a frequenter of Faerieworlds.  I’ve only viewed it from a distance.  Not because I think that large events should be a regular occurrence in the park.  They shouldn’t.

I simply believe that Faerieworlds was amalgamated with the Kaleidoscope debacle last summer and it was deemed to be as unwelcome as that festival.  I had hoped that the organizers of Faerieworlds would be granted the chance to demonstrate through their event this coming summer that they could be compatible and even a positive partner in the long-term stewardship of this great natural resource.

Faerieworlds will have their event this year.  Through the vote by the Commission on May 13, however, no matter how well the organizers and the audiences behave and act in congruence with recently agreed on rules and regulations, they will not be back.

I was not opposed to making the judgement call regarding future events after this year’s performances.  In fact, I would be willing to lead the charge to dismiss it forever if it had not met all of the expectations that have been and would be outlined for it.

Unfortunately for the people who follow Faerieworlds, the Kaleidoscope ruckus led to the dismissal of their event.

I wish that we could have waited until after this year’s shows to make the call.

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