The Lemon Lily Festival was founded in 2009 by local businessman Doug Yagaloff along with several botanists, business folk, and the Idyllwild Garden Club who had a common vision of restoring the Lemon Lily to its natural habitat in the San Jacinto Mountains. This group enlisted the help of volunteers, the Idyllwild Nature Center and the US Forest Service to make this vision a reality.
Their vision was distilled into the following Mission Statement:
“The mission of the Lemon Lily Festival is to foster an appreciation for the threatened native Lily, Lilium parryi, educate the public of its plight and relevance to Idyllwild, restore it to its historical range and benefit Idyllwild economically by promoting it as a visitor destination.”
Restoration committee member Dave Stith recounts the festival’s beginnings for Palm Springs Life Magazine writer Marcia Gawecki:
The Idyllwild Nature Center
Located one mile northwest of Idyllwild on Highway 243, the Nature Center offers field study trips, environmental education programs and guided tours by appointment. Programs focus on mountain ecology, habitats, flora and fauna, Cahuilla Native culture and the history of the San Jacinto Mountains. Each program can be tailored to fit your specific needs or interests. Nature walks and natural history lectures are offered during the summer. Every Saturday June through August the center offers Junior Naturalist Programs. This children’s program includes a forest nature walk, snacks, and work books.
Various seasonal events are held here, including the Lemon Lily Festival, Butterfly Daze, Labor Day Family Fun and the Wildflower and Art Exhibit. A spacious auditorium is available to rent for any special events as well.
The area surrounding Idyllwild Nature Center is filled with trails perfect for hiking, biking or horseback riding. Easy to moderate effort trails can be found. Afterwards, enjoy your lunch at one of the several picnic tables set amongst the tall pine trees.
The FRIENDS of the San Jacinto Mountain County Parks
The Friends of the San Jacinto Mountain County Parks is a member supported non-profit organization based at the Idyllwild Park Nature Center and dedicated to supporting the work of the Riverside County Regional Parks & Open Space District.
The Friends make possible a great variety of cultural and natural history interpretive programs, new exhibits, wildlife observation facilities, equipment and resources to help children and adults gain appreciation and enjoyment of the San Jacinto Mountains.