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Leap into autumn at arboretum’s annual leaf festival

There’s plenty of leaf mayhem to be had at the Fall Compost Fair and Leaf Festival at the Finch Arboretum. (File)
There’s plenty of leaf mayhem to be had at the Fall Compost Fair and Leaf Festival at the Finch Arboretum. (File)

A pile of leaves 8 feet tall and 20 feet wide awaits jumpers Saturday at Finch Arboretum, host of the Fall Compost Fair and Leaf Festival.

The free event combines play with education and a display of fall foliage at the 65-acre collection of trees and plants (and turkeys and deer and, recently, at least one moose) in southwest Spokane.

The leaf pile will be reassembled as needed, said Kasey Burke, who works with “a small army” to maintain the grounds. And the arboretum’s in good shape for viewing.

“The foliage around there is going to be over-the-moon nice,” Burke said.

Nonprofits and other organizations will offer children’s activities and educational resources, especially about environmental issues. The hot cider’s free.

Participants also can rotate through a half-dozen educational stations to learn about composting. Topics include what to put in backyard bins – and what to leave out to avoid pests – and alternatives such as worm composting, an option for apartment dwellers.

“The main thing is we just want that stuff out of the garbage stream,” said Kris Major, education coordinator at the Spokane Regional Solid Waste System, sponsor of the compost fair.

Spokane County residents who complete the rotation and show proof of residency can take home a free compost bin. Show up by 1:30 p.m. to allow time for the full rotation.

Like your leaves at your own pace? Residents are welcome to roam the grounds. The arboretum is open, free of charge, from dawn to dusk year-round. The site includes a spring-fed creek, a pond and walking trails.

Fair and festival parking is available in the arboretum’s lot and on nearby streets.

Adrian Rogers

When: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday

Where: Finch Arboretum, 3404 W. Woodland Blvd., at Sunset Highway and F Street

Admission: Free


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