March 9, 2012

Garden Club at Pechanga

Painted by artist Paul Price.


On February 28, members of the Canyon Lake Garden Club toured the sacred “Great Oak” at Pechanga Resort and Casino. The Great Oak is the largest natural-growing, indigenous coast live oak tree in the United States and is estimated to be from 850 to 1,500 years old, making it one of the oldest oak trees in the world.

Canyon Lake artist Paul Price painted the Great Oak in oil several years ago as part of a local landscapes series (paulprice.com). The tree has been used by countless generations as a gathering place. The Great Oak area, Wi'aasha, is home to numerous culturally sensitive, historical and archaeological sites, including tribal interment sites from time immemorial. It can be visited by appointment only.

Garden Club members also were treated to a tour of the gardens that supply plants for the casino and area landscape. Standing in front of the ancient oak are, from left, Joan Fakhoury, Joy Call, Raymond Basquez, tour guide, Leann Kluck, Iris Barger, Alicia Hanner, Dawn Bora, Kathy Tisdale and Beverly Berg.