Stephen McCabe’s jeans are stained with earth — as the Arboretum’s director of development and research, he has spent the day preparing for the Arboretum’s annual plant sale on April 20.

“Some of the plants have even been imported from South Africa or Australia,” McCabe said. “[They] are just nothing like anything people have seen before.”

McCabe has been preparing to put over 2,000 plants from around the world on sale for an event he expects will draw a crowd of about 400.

“We have some people that have been so excited that they have driven from San Diego [and] Redding,” McCabe said. “There’s a couple that have driven down at least four times from the middle of Oregon for our plant [sale].”

However, while it seems nothing can stop these road-trippers, McCabe said he has been disappointed by low student turnout at the plant sale.

“We’d like more students to come here,” McCabe said.

Recent budget cuts to the arboretum have made the plant sale more important than ever, especially to help fund work-study students, McCabe said.

“It’s really a challenge to raise money every year but the plant sale is one of the ways we raise money,” McCabe said, “and some of that money goes to pay for our work-study students.”