Our Roots

Since 1986

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.

Our Mission
To advocate for the preservation and appreciation of wildflowers.
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Instructors, tour guides and volunteers.

Wildflower Preservation

Let it Grow
Please do not pick, cut, or walk on wildflowers or other plants! If you see someone doing this, please give them a friendly reminder not to, and ask them to pass it along to others.
Stay on the Trail
Please stay on the trail. If another trail user needs to pass you, please gently step off the trail and wait for them to pass. Please do not create multiple, parallel trails. If a trail is wet, snowy, or muddy, please do your best to keep to the main trail. This will prevent the creation of parallel trails.
Protect our Pollinators
The fauna in the Valley play an imperative role in our unique ecosystem. While you explore the magic of Crested Butte, if you happen upon one of our many types of polinaotrs, please give them space and do not disturb their hard work.
Learn & Share
One of the most important tools in preservation is awareness. Take what you learn at the Festival and pollinate the knowledge!

Help Preserve the Wildflowers

Board of Directors

Tom Zeiner

Tom Zeiner
President

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.

Jeff Delaney

Jeff Delaney

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

Peggy Langewisch

Peggy Langewisch
Vice President

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.

Bill Peatross

Bill Peatross

Bill has been hiking the back country around Crested Butte for almost three decades. He is a lawyer licensed in Louisiana and Colorado and has been named as one of Louisiana’s “Super Lawyers”. Bill has volunteered with the Wildflower Festival for a number of years and he was named to the Board in September 2014. He has been a second home owner in the valley for over twenty years and also serves on the Board of the Mountain Heritage Museum and the Advisory Board of the CrestedButteCenter for the Arts. In addition to hiking, Bill enjoys gardening, cooking and running (having completed 40 marathons).

Tom Roll

Tom Roll
Treasurer / Secretary

Tom and his wife, Dawn, came to Crested Butte on their honeymoon 27 years ago and fell in love with the town, the people and the beauty of the valley. Returning often over the years the love grew and Tom and Dawn now live in Crested Butte part-time. The wildflowers in particular make Crested Butte a paradise and, like so many others, Tom loves to be outdoors playing in them. His hobbies include music, photography, mountain biking, hiking and skiing. Recently appointed to the board Tom hopes to use his 35 years of experience as a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Financial Planner to help the Festival in whatever way he can.

Board Vacancies

Meet the Staff

Michelle Bivens

Michelle Bivens
Executive Director

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.

Olivia

Olivia Murphy-Welconish
Assistant Director

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!

Rachael Stankiewicz
Customer Care Specialist

Born and raised in Colorado my family vacations every summer involved packing up the car and heading into the mountains for long camping trips. These experiences fostered my love and admiration of the outdoors from a young age, influencing many of my adult decisions. As a graduating senior with a degree in Marketing and Sales from Western Colorado University, my passion for the outdoors and the unique community that Crested Butte fosters has only grown. In my free time I can be found skiing, backpacking, or rock climbing around the valley. I am ecstatic to be a part of the Crested Butte Wildflower Festival this year and to cultivate experiences that will educate and embody this beautiful valley we call home!

Grace Sprehn
Lead Festival Assistant

Born and raised in Wisconsin, I first discovered the Crested Butte Wildflower Festival while researching for a road trip out west. I fell in love with the beauty of Crested Butte through photos and wanted to come out and experience it first-hand. I recently graduated from the University of Northwestern – St. Paul with a Business Administration degree and a minor in Public Relations. I enjoy spending my free time biking, hiking, preserving flowers, thrifting, and doing arts & crafts. This is my first year with the Festival, and I am excited to share the joy and beauty of the area with all who come to visit.

Taylore Lowry
Festival Assistant

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.

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