January 25, 2013

Upcoming: Travel to Rwanda and the Great Backyard Bird Count

Join us for two outstanding programs in February 2013!

Herpetologist and world traveler Paul Freed will be returning to the Oregon Garden to take us on a wild adventure to Rwanda. This 90 minute program will intrigue and inform. 

February 9, 2013
1:00 - 2:30 p.m.
$6 general admission
Free for Garden Members
Tickets available in the Visitor Center

Rwanda's Royalty: Gentle giants roam the bamboo forests in the Virunga Mountains in northern Rwanda: the endangered Mountain Gorillas.  Today they move escorted through the national park protected from foes while surrounded by friends.  One has the privilege to visit these magnificent animals but the trip comes with rules and specific decorum.  They are protected for a reason and Rwandans are intent on keeping their priceless treasures safe.

Chimpanzees lay claim to the Nyungwe Forest in the southwest region of the country along with many other wildlife species.  This National Park is the second of the three national parks Rwanda houses within its diminutive borders.  The third, Akagara, teams with hippos, herds of elephants, zebra, and many of the other typical East African savannah safari species… but with very, very few tourists.  Everyone is looking at gorillas and hasn’t yet discovered Akagara.

Driving through Rwanda, visitors do not sense a history of chaos and violence that plagued this tiny nation in 1994.  The landscape is extremely clean, the roads are wonderful and the people are friendly and engaging.  Their pride is immense.  They are honest about their past and about their recovery.  Their country now serves as an excellent tourist destination and the government has now become a steward for their wildlife.  In 2010 we visited Rwanda on a trip of a lifetime and were never disappointed.  Join me as I trek through Rwanda’s three national parks and bring to life a land of peace and beauty.

About Paul Freed: Paul Freed is a herpetologist who travels the globe seeking opportunities to photograph reptiles and amphibians.  He retired from the Houston Zoo as the Supervisor of Herpetology after a 25 year career and moved to Oregon where he and his wife found paradise in the Pacific Northwest.  Conservation and research projects have taken Paul to 35 countries where he has photographed over 2500 species of reptiles and amphibians.  He has amassed an extensive photographic library documenting animals, people, and environments which surround and affect the lives of these interesting creatures.

His images have been published in National Geographic Explorer, Ranger Rick magazine, numerous scientific journals, popular reptile magazines, text books, and many others.  Paul is frequently a guest speaker at many herpetological and nature-oriented societies around the country and lectures on reptile and amphibian natural history and travelogues from his research expeditions.  In 2003, Paul wrote a book Of Golden Toads & Serpents’ Roads which chronicled several of his journeys and featured his photographs.


Participate in the international Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) February 15-18! Author Kris Wetherbee will be at the Oregon Garden on February 16th to teach us how to Attract Birds, Butterflies, and Other Winged Wonders to Your Backyard. This program will also include participation in the GBBC with a short lesson on how to count birds.

February 16, 2013
1:00 - 2:30 p.m.
$6 general admission
Free for Garden Members
Tickets available at the Visitor Center

Attracting Winged WondersDid you know that you can increase the winged population right outside your door with a garden habitat as small as 100 square feet? Come discover the wildlife approach to garden design with creative and fundamental principles for “naturescaping” your yard along with essentials and added perks that attract winged wildlife. Copies of Kris's book Attract Birds, Butterflies, and Other Winged Wonders to Your Backyard will be available for purchase at the program.

About Kris Wetherbee: Oregon-based Kris Wetherbee is an internationally published author, freelance writer and recipe developer specializing in the areas of food, gardening and outdoor living. Her recipes and articles have appeared in magazines such as Coastal Living, Cooking Light, Relish, Herb companion, Mix, Delicious Living, and Northwest Palate. A former certified organic market grower, Wetherbee is author of the Oregon Farmers' Market Cookbook and Guide and the Washington Farmers' Market Cookbook and Guide.

For more information about the Great Backyard Bird Count, please visit: http://www.birdsource.org/gbbc