Magnolias blooming at Ruff Park in Springfield

Magnolias blooming at Ruff Park in Springfield
Deciduous magnolias bear huge, pale blooms on gray, leafless limbs. This grand but short-lived show is the product of a budding magnolia arboretum, according to Willamalane Parks and Recreation.

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. – Thousands of magnolia buds are bursting into bloom on hundreds of trees at Willamalane Park and Recreation District's Wallace M. Ruff Jr. Memorial Park in Springfield.

Deciduous magnolias bear huge, pale blooms on gray, leafless limbs. This grand but short-lived show is the product of a budding magnolia arboretum.

While these are young trees several years from their peak, the species is ancient. Magnolias evolved millions of years before even bees and butterflies, and the trees are pollinated by beetles.

Wallace M. Ruff Jr. Memorial Park was established in 1992 by Wallace "Mack" Ruff Sr., a University of Oregon landscape architecture professor and artist, in memory of his son. Ruff Sr. wanted to create the largest magnolia arboretum west of the Mississippi River.



There are two ways to reach the park. Turn north off Thurston Road at 66th Street. The park is on the right. Or, go through the Levi Landing housing development on Thurston Road. A paved pathway connects the development to the park.

A group of volunteers known as Friends of Ruff Park meets regularly to pull weeds, transplant seedlings and prune magnolias. Upcoming work party dates include Saturdays, March 22 and April 26. Call 541-736-4104 to join Friends of Ruff Park.