11 artistic ways to explore the world of fish, forest, fungus

Fungus Festival arts and crafts. The event, scheduled for Aug. 29-Sept. 1, will feature a variety of activities. Photo courtesy Cordova Chamber of Commerce
Fungus Festival arts and crafts. The event, scheduled for Aug. 29-Sept. 1, will feature a variety of activities. Photo courtesy Cordova Chamber of Commerce

While Cordova’s fishing fleet is out gathering nets full of Copper River and Prince William Sound salmon, its land-based foragers are hunting wild berries, yellow-footed chanterelles and king boletes. Those swift salmon that make it past Cordova’s keen fishermen will head upstream, spawn and leave abundant nutrients on the creek shores. These nutrients are then picked up and transported by fungi to nourish the entire forest.

At this time every fall, the community of Cordova welcomes fungus-pluckers, lichen-lovers, and friends of the forest and sea to the Cordova Fungus Festival. The 13th annual event will take place Aug. 29-Sept. 1, and will be hosted at the Cordova Center. Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy excursions throughout the Chugach National Forest and surrounding lands. However, there are many other ways to celebrate the interconnected lifecycle of fungus, salmon and the forest while letting your artistic energies take the lead.

Here’s the top 11 Cordova Fungus Festival events for the creative soul:

  1. Copper River Canvas “Fungus Among Us” Paint Night on Thursday, Aug. 29.
  2. Wild Food Cooking Demos with Chad Hyatt on Friday, Aug. 30 and Sunday, Sept. 1.
  3. Natural Dye class with Raven, Amber and Dotty: Saturday, Aug. 31.
  4. Fiber art workshops with the Net Loft (Hanging Mushroom Needlefelt Ornament, Felted Mushroom Terrarium, Autumn Needlework, Embellished Basket) Aug. 30-Sept. 3.
  5. Check out the Michael Anderson Ceramics show in the Copper River Gallery on display through Sept. 3.
  6. Bring a dish and fill your recipe book at the Mushroom Recipe Swap on Friday, Aug. 30.
  7. Bear Bread Painting class on Friday, Aug. 30.
  8. Harvest writing workshop with Tara Anderson on Sunday, Sept. 1.
  9. Submit a dessert or handmade item to the Wild Harvest Feast silent auction. Contact Copper River Watershed Project at (907) 424-3334.
  10. Bring the littles to get creative at Kids’ Fungus Funtivities on Saturday, Aug. 31.
  11. Preserving your Mushrooms class with Nikki Newcome on Sunday, Sept. 1.

Check out the full festival and register for only $10 at cordovafungusfest.com. Volunteer and get free admission or a vintage Fungus Fest shirt. Sign up online or call the Cordova Chamber of Commerce at (907) 424-7260.