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
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.
Shelley Popke, fundraising and grant management consultant, has over 20 years’ experience working in the non-profit sector with an emphasis in fundraising, communication, leadership, and non-profit management. Shelley first moved to Crested Butte in 1999 and most recently served as the Development Director of the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory and the Executive Director of the Crested Butte Mountain Heritage Museum, where she led the Museum’s Preserve Tony’s capital campaign and two–phased building preservation project. Passionate about Gunnison County and its rich history, Shelley serves on the Gunnison County Historic Preservation Commission, and as a STEP Advisor for the Community Foundation of the Gunnison Valley. She holds a BA in English Literature and an MA in History both from the University of Colorado and is an MBA candidate at the University of Denver. In her free time, Shelley enjoys reading, gardening, cooking, yoga, volunteering, and spending time with family and friends in the great outdoors we get to call home. Shelley is excited to combine her passion for the history and landscape of the Gunnison Valley by leading historical tours for the Crested Butte Wildflower Festival.
Dr. Luke Tembrock
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.
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.
Kristi Bezler has lived in Crested Butte since 2017 and fell in love with the community in 2010. She and her husband have two children, and they all greatly enjoy the activities and personal connection the community has to offer. Kristi joined the Wildflower Festival Board in 2024 and is looking forward to deepening her connection to the community through her love of wildflowers. In her spare time, she enjoys trail running, hiking, mountain biking, skiing, reading as well as spending time with family and friends.
Meet the Staff
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. Since 2021, I have loved being a part of the Crested Butte Wildflower Festival planning team and helping 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 in 2020 to finish out my degree at Western Colorado University. I am studied business marketing and management and graduated in 2023. Moving to a totally different state away from what you are used to can be super intimidating but as soon as I arrived in beautiful Gunnison Valley, I knew I was exactly where I was supposed to be. During my time with the Crested Butte Wildflower Festival, I have learned so much and have developed a true passion for helping others. I look forward to getting to meet new faces this year and help with another success wildflower season.
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
CBWF is an equal opportunity service provider and employer and operates under permit from the USDA Forest Service, Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison National Forest