The Wildflower Festival began in 1986 through the efforts of a few insightful Crested Butte locals who envisioned a wildflower celebration in one of the most picturesque valleys in Colorado. The Festival has grown into a summer-long season with over 300 events offered by over 60 instructors, tour guides, and volunteers.
Instructors, tour guides and volunteers.
Board of Directors
Tom Zeiner is a professional geologist and amateur botanist. An interest in tracking wildflower blooms began in 2002 on Green Mountain in Jefferson County. That has now led to working with the Festival as well as the Colorado Native Plant Society. Tom is a Colorado Native Plant Master and enjoys explaining all about the local flora and geology to anyone who’s bold enough to hike, bike, or run with him. He and his wife, Kim, settled on Crested Butte for a retirement home after realizing it’s the best place in the state for rocks, flowers and people. Tom joined the Wildflower Festival’s Board of Directors in September 2014.
Luke Tembrock was born in Delta, Colorado and grew up along the North Fork of the Gunnison where he first began to examine plants and nature on the family orchard west of Hotchkiss. After graduating Hotchkiss High School in 1997 Luke studied at Western State College (now Western Colorado University) in Gunnison, CO for two semesters before traveling and working in Western Europe for a year. Upon returning to the U.S. Luke worked for the Colorado Division of Wildlife (now Colorado Parks and Wildlife) as a field technician around Durango, CO and then with the Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Indian Affairs as a cadastral surveyor around Ignacio, CO. Luke completed his undergraduate Bachelor of Arts in geography with a minor in biology in 2005 from the University of Colorado, Boulder and then worked as a tropical horticulturist with the Denver Botanic Gardens until 2008. In 2015 Luke completed his doctoral degree in botany from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO where his work focused on the East African stimulant plant qat (Catha edulis, Celastraceae). From 2015 to the present Luke has worked as a research scientist in the department of Agricultural Biology at Colorado State University and in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture where he studies invasive insect species.
Jeffery Delaney is a native of Chicago. After completing a bachelor of science in geology and master’s degree in civil and environmental engineering, he moved west and began integrating geology and engineering professionally. After over 30 years in the energy industry, Jeff changed career paths and began mentoring high school students in Denver as a coach and tutor. Jeff enjoys running and competing in big city marathons, trail ultra-marathons and shorter trail races. He also enjoys cycling, hiking, climbing, skiing, and adventure travel. Crested Butte has been a second home to Jeff and his wife Dana since 2004. Jeff began volunteering for the Crested Butte Wildflower Fest in 2013 and has been a festival hike leader since 2014
Secretary / Treasurer
Peggy has been visiting since the early 90’s and living full-time in the Gunnison valley since 2000. She began her career at a large management consulting company before founding a consulting partnership focused on strategy development and implementation. After enjoying extensive travel for work, she now relishesstaying home and hiking, biking, and skiing. Peggy joined the Wildflower Festival Board in 2017 and appreciates the opportunity to contribute to sharing and preserving the beauty that surrounds us.
Dr. Chelsea Stangl
Chelsea Stangl has been a part of the Crested Butte Community since 2014 and moved here full time in 2017. She and her husband own Crested Butte Dental in CB South, where they also live. Since the first moment she laid eyes on Crested Butte in 2011, she has felt the magic of the town, the mountains, and the community and feels incredibly grateful to call Crested Butte home. Chelsea joined the Wildflower Festival Board in 2023. One of the main reasons she decided to get involved is because she is passionate about the preservation of wildflowers in our valley and helping people get to experience the magic of Crested Butte in the summertime. She hopes to increase the accessibility of the Wildflower Festival so that it can educate and impact a more diverse group of people who may not realize yet that they too are passionate about wildflowers and getting outdoors and exploring our valley.
Meet the Staff
I was smitten with Crested Butte and it’s wildflowers at the age of 8, and have been playing in this valley ever since. After many a vacation I finally moved here permanently in 2012. I am wife and mother of two, a former high school science teacher, and a Colorado Master Gardener. I previously supported the Wildflower Festival through a leadership role with the Board of Directors before jumping in to my current position as Executive Director. I am committed to the preservation and promotion of this beautiful valley.
Born and raised in Boulder, Colorado, I have always been one for the outdoors and soaking in the abundant natural Colorado beauty through travel, rock climbing, skiing, and yoga! I first started calling the Gunnison Valley my home in 2017 when I began as a Psychology and Philosophy student at Western Colorado University. Since then, I have made it my mission to give back to the Gunnison Valley particularly through the lenses of community involvement, non-profit service, and event planning. I could not be more thrilled to be a part of the Crested Butte Wildflower Festival planning team and help this incredible event come to fruition for locals and visitors alike!
Customer Care Specialist
I was born and raised in Flagstaff, Arizona which is another beautiful town that allows you to do many activities outdoors. I first moved to the Gunnison Valley back in 2020 to finish out my degree at Western Colorado University. I am studying business management and marketing and have a year left till I graduate. Moving to a totally different state away from what you are used to can be super intimidating but as soon as I arrived in this beautiful valley I knew I was exactly where I was supposed to be. I look forward to meeting new people and helping others appreciate the beauty of Crested Butte through my time at the Wildflower Festival.
Read the latest buzz about our Festival
- Going Wild Over Wildflowers (CBS Sunday Morning)
- It’s Wildflower Season, Finally. Where to See Them. – WSJ
- Science and Scenery Intersect on a Hike Through Colorado’s Wildflowers (9News)
- 20 of the Best Festivals and Fairs in Denver & Colorado (travelmag.com)
- The ultimate guide to Colorado’s summer festivals (denverpost.com)
- 8 Crested Butte Summer Events You Can’t Miss (travelcrestedbutte.com)
- Crested Butte Wildflower Festival | 2021 July Heritage Fest (uncovercolorado.com)
- Crested Butte Wildflower Festival (visitingcrestedbutte.com)
- ‘Weird’ year for Colorado wildflowers provides ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunities | Lifestyle | gazette.com
- Still crazy for wildflowers? Colorado road trip leads to the summer bloom – Los Angeles Times (latimes.com)
- “Wildflower capital” of Colorado hosts Crested Butte Wildflower Festival | OutThere Colorado
- Crested Butte: A look at Colorado’s wildflower capital | 9news.com
- Best Colorado wildflower hikes | 9news.com