March 2021
News from the Garden...
From Our Director
Alpine skiers who enjoy time on lift-served slopes will recognize the line... "Hazards exist that aren't marked." It's a friendly reminder to always remain alert and aware of (sometimes hidden) danger.

It's been one year since our collective worlds changed due to the global pandemic. After a year of lockdowns, masking, toilet paper shortages (what was that about?), shipping delays, social distancing, devastating affects on many lives and livelihoods, loneliness, lost loved ones, and really, just a whole lot of unknowns, it appears as though we may be catching a tangible glimpse of the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel.

But hazards still do exist. Those hazards are why we still require you to wear a mask inside the Greenhouse and Visitor Center here at SBG and why we continue to limit indoor access. And they are why we will continue to require this until all of us on staff are vaccinated and we can fling the doors wide open to let the warm, sun-soaked air infiltrate our indoor environment.
Alpine skiers understand that minimizing risk is how we hopefully get to continue our slope sliding for years to come. Let's all not fail to acknowledge our collective minimization of risk by keeping up with safety precautions that help protect ALL of us from harm.

For now.

And soon, the days will be brighter and warmer, and we can all celebrate together. ~ Jen
Remembering Bill Cassell

SBG's Ambassadors Council is a group of Garden Champions consisting mostly of past Board members and other passionate supporters of the Sawtooth Botanical Garden. Jeanne Cassell heads up this group as its Chair and was also Chair of the Board of Directors in 2005 when the Garden of Infinite Compassion was conjured and constructed.

Jeanne's husband of 65 years, Bill Cassell, passed away on Saturday, March 6. We will miss Bill driving Jeanne to lead her weekly Wildflower Walks and accompanying Jeanne to events here at the Garden.

The Idaho Mountain Express obituary may be read here. Bill's lifelong love of learning, service to others, and the natural world are truly inspiring.

The photo above is from this
Eye on Sun Valley article and captioned Bill Cassell enjoys a moment with granddaughter Anna Cassell, daughter Susan Snyder, wife Jeanne and grandson Stephen Snyder at the Sun Valley Writers Conference.

Our thoughts are with the Cassell Family. Namaste.

We'll miss you, Bill.
Meet Racheal!

SBG's newest employee, Rachael Arndt, has stepped into the role of Community Outreach Coordinator. This new role at the Garden includes coordinating educational programming efforts and managing our Garden rentals.

Racheal originally hails from Las Vegas, Nevada and moved to the Wood River Valley in 2005 where she met her husband Kaleb. The Arndt Family is rounded out with Tucker, 13, and Ruby, 6. Todd is their pet dog.

Her years as a Board member with Syringa Mountain School along with her past jobs with Clear Creek Disposal and Nichols Property Management give Racheal a wonderful experiential background for organizing meaningful and leading edge educational programming along with our myriad partners like the ERC, Wood River Land Trust, and Local Food Alliance, and her aptitude for organization and empathy will further SBG's facility rental program as we emerge from the limitations on social gatherings.

Welcome Racheal!
Looking Forward To It!
Who's ready for in-person events and educational programming? WE ARE!

Here's a short list of things we're working on...

  • Easter Egg Hunt! Register online for this outdoor, socially-distanced event for families on April 3. Space is limited during four available timeslots. Bring your friends and meet new ones!
  • Birthday Parties! Racheal is working on developing customized children's birthday parties. Call or email her to find out more at 208-726-9358 ext. 31 or
  • Hydroponics Growing with Barb Mead! Indoors or out, hydroponics growing is a fantastic (and fun!) way to grow fresh, healthy greens all year round! We are developing curriculum surrounding the concepts, logistics, and science (and fun!) behind growing plants in water (no soil, just nutrients) using a custom-built system. Stay tuned to our website for more information coming soon!
  • 26th Annual Garden Tour! Save the date - July 24th - to participate in this wonderful social event showcasing six gorgeous gardens in Hailey!
  • Walk & Wine, Gimlets in the Garden, and other fun, social events... we are working on calendaring these opportunities to engage with community, raise a glass and celebrate the Sawtooth Botanical Garden! Stay tuned...
  • Yoga and Singing Bowls with Eduardo & Jessie! Coming back soon... stay tuned for event dates.
  • Bug Zoo! If all goes well with our emergence from the pandemic, we will look forward to once again hosting the world famous Bug Zoo, a showcase of ecological education and celebration of nature either this fall (2021) or next spring (2022).
  • Wildflower Walks! Watch the website for dates and locations of these popular weekly excursions to the region's most dazzling displays of native floral and faunal glory!

Welcome new Board members!

SBG's Board of Directors is thrilled to welcome new Board members Susan Thurston and Betsy Cromwell!

Susan spends time between Seattle at Sun Valley. She introduced herself to the Garden through dedicated volunteer and local resident, Todd Houle (thanks Todd!). Susan wanted to know how she could help with the Garden and settled on a very generous contribution to the Serenity Garden redesign project. We were elated when she agreed to serve on the Board!

You may recognize Betsy (seen above visiting Jackson WY with her family) from her years of volunteer service here at SBG, including helping on the Garden Tour organizing committee. Betsy and her husband William spend their time between Washington DC and Sun Valley and enjoy traveling the world as well.

Susan and Betsy round out SBG's current Board: Jolyon Sawrey (Chair), Baylee Colton (Treasurer), Matt Bogue (Recording Secretary), Kathie Gouley, Dean Hernandez, Bill Josey, and Frances Cherp (Junior Director).
Introducing Barry!

SBG's new Gardens & Facilities Supervisor, Barry Irwin, will be the first to tell you that you probably recognize him from "his more famous half."

This long-time Ketchum resident and avid gardener is married to none other than former NexStage Theater manager and 2019 Wagon Days Grand Marshall, Kathy Wygle! Barry and Kathy tend a gorgeous residence in Warm Springs and Barry just "retired" after working for Sun Valley Resort for 30 years in a variety of jobs that will contribute to his success in managing the growing environment and facilities here at SBG.

Barry's plant cultivation knowledge is legendary. He enjoys pruning ornamental trees and shrubs for a select few clients here in the Valley and is amazed by the natural beauty of our region. Barry is also adept at cultivating varieties of perennials that thrive in our challenging growing environment like the one in the photo above. The first person to reply to this newsletter with the common and scientific name of the flower above will win two tickets to the 26th annual Garden Tour on July 24th!

Welcome Barry!
Image above from the Idaho Mountain Express' recent Wedding Issue.
Who's ready to get married (again!)?
As things begin to open up, we invite you and your families and friends to consider the Sawtooth Botanical Garden in your event plans!

We host weddings, graduations, reunions, fundraisers, and other social events. Contact Racheal for more information or visit our website.
Gracious and bountiful gratitude to our local squad of AWESOME veterinarians.
Thanks for reading!
This issue of Inspire! is dedicated to Petunia Smith-Johns (sniffing crocus above) and Jax (with his Heitur family visiting the prayer wheel to the left).

Our pets mean the world to us. You can celebrate and remember those who have crossed the Rainbow Bridge at our Pet Memory Garden.

Rest Easy, Jax & Petey. We love and miss you.
Thanks to our Corporate Sponsors Webb Landscape, East Fork Landscape Management, and Mountain High Landscapes. We couldn't do it without YOU!
Sawtooth Botanical Garden | 208.726.9358 | |