Put on your hiking shoes, grab your hiking poles, pack energy bars and plenty of water and take part in a guided tour of the Gerdemann Botanic Preserve in Yachats on Saturday, July 13, sponsored by the Newport 60+ Activity Center.
In 1981, Jim and Janice Gerdemann purchased an acre of property on the edge of the Siuslaw National Forest in Yachats. Thickly forested with spruce and hemlock, but on a sloped site adjacent to the ocean, it was the perfect place to test the hardiness of rare and unusual plants from all over the world. For almost 30 years, Jim (a retired University of Illinois plant pathology professor) and Janice (a retired teacher) collected and planted unusual specimens — most of which they grew from seed. Over the years, the site grew into a unique, 3.5-acre, richly planted botanical preserve.
In 2008, the property was purchased by Jerry and Kathleen Sand, who shepherded the garden with care for nearly eight years. As of the summer of 2015, the property is under the care of Andreea Ghetie. Many beautiful plants can be enjoyed while wandering the public footpath leading from the road to the entrance to the Siuslaw National Forest. The Gerdemann public trail passes through a wooded hillside facing the Pacific Ocean, bordered by the Siuslaw National Forest in Yachats.
This is a moderate hike. The group will leave the Newport 60+ Activity Center at 9 a.m. and return around 1 p.m. The cost of the trip is $5. To reserve a spot, stop by the center at 20 SE Second St. in Newport, call 541-265-9617, or sign up online at www.newportoregon.gov/sc and click on “Browse the catalog and register.”