Festival celebrates fungus, forest and sea

The Cordova Fungus Festival will take place Sept. 10-12. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Forest Service

Fungus-pluckers, lichen-lovers and friends of the forest and sea will gather in Cordova Sept. 10-12 for the 15th annual Cordova Fungus Festival, being held this year virtually and in-person as the novel coronavirus pandemic lingers on.

The festival agenda, including guided forest forays, fungus displays and art workshops, has been adjusted to include safe activities that can be enjoyed from Cordova or wherever online participants call home. The event is again partnering with the Girdwood Fungus Fair, which has in-person activities scheduled for Sept. 3-4. Excursions are planned throughout the Chugach National Forest and surrounding lands, to explore the northernmost coastal temperate rainforest and celebrate the interconnected life cycle of fungus, salmon and the forest.

Cordova festival organizers said each event is planned to be quickly adjusted as needed for safety concerns and recommendations of the festival’s medical response team.

Outdoor forays led by visiting mycologists and local experts will take place in a socially distanced environment, with participants providing their own transportation.

The festival will also include presentations by Noah Seigel and Kate Mohatt, a raffle, a Mushroomer’s Mixer, fiber and art workshops with local handcrafting gurus from The Net Loft and Copper River Canvas, and kids’ activities from the Prince William Sound Science Center and others. More event details are included on the festival schedule.

The festival is a joint venture by the Cordova Chamber of Commerce, the Chugach National Forest-Cordova Ranger District and others. Their goal is to promote conservation education and boost environmental literacy by inviting locals and visitors to explore and appreciate the natural world around them, officials said.

Registration is required at a cost of $10 for adults, $5 for students and seniors. Children who are 12 or under can participate for free. Signup is available online at www.cordovafungusfest.com or www.facebook.com/cordovafungusfest.