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Meet Eric Walle & Krista Littleton, Event Director & Manager

By: Anni Jack, Adult Education Coordinator | 05/20/2022

On this cooler April day, I joined Eric and Krista in the Garden for the opening day of the Fairy House Exhibit.  Between setting up music and interacting with the visiting fairies and gnomes, we were able to chat about what brought them here.

At events such as this, Eric and Krista share tasks to make the event run smoothly.  Eric is the master strategist, planning an event that falls in line with IBG’s mission: Cultivate. Educate. Celebrate.  Grow our community by connecting people, plants, and nature. Eric also handles the legal aspects of the event, as well as details such as the guest list, prep, and sound.

Krista is all about logistics and execution. She takes the lead during the event.  When we spoke, I believe she was on mile 4 walking the garden that morning checking each aspect of the event as the attendees meander in (or, as in many cases, flood in).

This Saturday was just one of the 115 event days Eric and Krista will take head-on March thru December 2022.  The time that goes into each event is substantial, far more than 115 days in a year… As they prepare for Lord Huron’s Memorial weekend Sunday concert, the set-up thru the night for the Antiques Road Show that takes place Monday and filming the following day, I was curious about what drew them to events at IBG as I got tired just thinking about the details involved.

Eric spent his childhood in upstate New York.  He certainly has a musical thread winding thru his life, including a 30-year history in rock and punk bands.  He was a stagehand at the University of New Mexico and worked 12 years at Clif Bar connecting non-profits and musicians with a focus on sustainability. He reminisced over some of his most memorable band moments… playing on lava rocks at Kona, in the rafters of an abandoned warehouse, and while hosting bands on a moving ski hill tram!  But what brought him here?  Well, Covid happened and events such as what Eric was a part of at Clif Bar, took a hit.  Covid may have shut that door, but IBG thankfully had an open one in their events department!  His current position brings enjoyment he gets from events as well as his love for the night life where he gets to be in the Garden at a time that he and the nocturnal wildlife get to enjoy.

Krista is a native Idahoan originally from Twin Falls and comes from a music-loving family.  Krista lived a tumultuous nomadic life since her teen days until she connected with IBG in the winter of 2018.  She began working on the Winter Garden Aglow event crew and then went on to be trained for site rentals.  Covid created another open door for her more introverted self as she was permitted to work as a single employee.  Krista was cross trained in horticulture and found that there was therapy to be had in the garden.  IBG is now the longest place she has been part of, and Krista says she feels like she has a home where the “plants are rooting” like herself.  She wants to be an example for other girls that have led challenging lives like she did and show the possibilities that could be had.

So as you attend one of over 100 events at our beautiful Idaho Botanical Garden this year, we hope that the joy becomes contagious and our Garden home can be a place of healing and a door of possibilities.