Events

    Obsessions: Fellow Organisms in the Arnold Arboretum

    Location: 

    Online or at Weld Hill Research Building, 1300 Centre St., Boston

    Join the Arnold Arboretum’s Director William (Ned) Friedman for the annual Director’s Series! To celebrate the Arboretum’s sesquicentennial, this year’s series will explore the Magic and Meaning of a Garden of Trees. Over the course of four sessions, we will trace the Arnold’s significance in the landscape architecture movement, value for the people of Boston, and leadership in creating global connections between plants and people. This final session will feature a talk from Director Friedman on fellow organisms in the Arboretum.

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    Plant Life Book Talk

    Location: 

    Arnold Arboretum, Weld Hill Research Building, 1300 Centre St., Boston

    Rosetta S. Elkin reveals that planting a tree can either be one of the ultimate offerings to thriving on this planet, or one of the most extreme perversions of human agency over it. Plant Life exposes the relationship between human and plant life, revealing that afforestation is not an ecological act: rather, it is deliberately political and distressingly social.

    Rosetta S. Elkin is associate professor and academic director of landscape architecture at Pratt Institute, principal of Practice Landscape, and research associate at the Harvard Arnold Arboretum. She is author of...

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    Crabapple and Maple Festival at the Arnold Arboretum

    Location: 

    Maple Collection on Meadow Road & Crabapple Collection on Peters Hill, Arnold Arboretum, Boston

    Celebrate fall color at the Arboretum! Join the festivities for children’s activities, learn about the Crabapple and Maple Collections from staff and volunteers, and view our plants up close with our microscope station. Registration not required, but greatly appreciated.

    Learn more and register.

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    Olmsted: Bicentennial Perspectives (Day 2)

    Location: 

    Arnold Arboretum, Weld Hill Research Building, 1300 Centre St., Boston

    The Harvard University Graduate School of Design, in partnership with the Arnold Arboretum, is hosting a two-day academic conference as part of the national Olmsted 200 celebration. While Olmsted was central to the conceptual formation of the degree program in landscape architecture at Harvard University and the design of the Arnold Arboretum, the interpretive ambitions of the conference are anything but parochial.

    Day 2 of the conference (Saturday, October 15) will take place at the Arnold Arboretum’s Weld Hill Research Building, 1300 Centre St, Boston, MA 02131.

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    Journeys: The Arnold Arboretum Meets the World’s Plants and Peoples

    Location: 

    Weld Hill Research Building, Arnold Arboretum, 1300 Centre St., Boston

    Join the Arnold Arboretum’s Director William (Ned) Friedman for the annual Director's Series! To celebrate the Arboretum's sesquicentennial, this year's series will explore the Magic and Meaning of a Garden of Trees. Over the course of four sessions, we will trace the Arnold’s significance in the landscape architecture movement, value for the people of Boston, and leadership in creating global connections between plants and people.

    This session will include brief presentations and a moderated panel. The program is free and is offered both in person and livestreamed.

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    MassQ Ball 2022: Origin | Making of Ceremonial Vessels

    Location: 

    Hemlock Hill and Conifer Collection, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    Led by Bengali culture worker Pampi, this audience participatory workshop allows attendees to weave love letters into hand-crafted ceremonial vessels for their loved ones. Vessels will be fashioned out of natural materials sourced from the Arboretum grounds and displayed in the MassQ Ball on July 9.

    Learn more and RSVP for this event.

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    Director’s Series | Life: The Arnold Arboretum as an Institution of Public Health

    Location: 

    Arnold Arboretum—Online

    The Arnold Arboretum's sesquicentennial Director's Series traces the Arnold’s significance in the landscape architecture movement, value for the people of Boston, and leadership in creating global connections between plants and people.

    Panelists include:

    • Dr. Michelle Kondo, Research Social Scientist, UDSA-Forest Service

    • Rev. Mariama White-Hammond, Chief of Environment, Energy, and Open Space, City of Boston

    • Laurence Cotton, Consulting Producer, “Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing...

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    Celebrating a Sesquicentennial: The Founding of the Arnold Arboretum

    Location: 

    Livestreamed or at Weld Hill Research Building, 1300 Centre St., Boston

    The Arnold Arboretum was founded on Friday, March 29, 1872. Exactly 150 years later, we invite you to join Lisa Pearson, Head of the Arboretum Library and Archives, for a special sesquicentennial lecture! Pearson will discuss the earliest benefactors of the Arboretum, the events surrounding the founding of the institution, and the busy first two decades during which the infrastructure and living collections were installed on the grounds.

    This event will also be livestreamed to YouTube. To sign up for the virtual livestream instead,...

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    Olmsted and Yosemite: Civil War, Abolition, and the National Park Idea

    Location: 

    Online or at Weld Hill Research Building, 1300 Centre St., Boston

    Just in time for the Arboretum's sesquicentennial and the bicentennial of the birth of pioneering landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, authors Rolf Diamant and Ethan Carr will speak on their recent book, "Olmsted and Yosemite: Civil War, Abolition, and the National Park Idea." They'll offer a new interpretation of how the American park—urban and national—came to figure so prominently in our cultural identity, and why this more complex and inclusive story deserves to be told.

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    "Every Pecan Tree": Trees, Meaning, and Memory in Enslaved People’s Lives

    Location: 

    Arnold Arboretum—Online

    This is the third lecture in the Arnold Arboretum's 2021 Director's Lecture Series. Tiya Miles takes up the pecan tree as inspiration for exploring the meaning of trees in the lives of enslaved African Americans. Using a family heirloom, slave narratives, oral histories, and missionary records, her talk underscores the importance of trees in the Black experience of captivity and resistance, ultimately revealing the centrality of the natural world to Black, and indeed human, survival.

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    A History of Path-Making at the Arnold Arboretum

    Location: 

    Arnold Arboretum—Online

    At the time of its founding in 1872, the land on which the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University is sighted was a patchwork of farmland and forest. As the Arboretum was planted, pathways were developed to lead people through the picturesque landscape. As the landscape developed, economies shifted, wars took place, and directors changed. Each of these factors subtly influenced shifts in the park’s path system. Join the Arnold Arboretum on Zoom with Jared Rubinstein as he reveals the layers of change in this beloved landscape.

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    Racial Equity in Urban Climate Action

    Location: 

    Online—Arnold Arboretum

    Joan Fitzgerald, Professor of Urban Planning and Policy at Northeastern University, will build on key concepts in her new book, Greenovation: Urban Leadership on Climate Change (2020). She’ll discuss how cities are rethinking their approach to climate action by placing racial justice at the forefront. She’ll draw from recent experiences with Providence, Austin, and Oakland in creating participatory planning processes and new priorities for a just transition to a carbon-free society. She’ll conclude by discussing how the transition can be linked to jobs in the green economy.

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    Observations on Urban Nature

    Location: 

    Arnold Arboretum—Online

    Peter Del Tredici, Senior Research Scientist Emeritus at the Arnold Arboretum, and Rosetta Elkin, Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture at McGill University, converse about the nature of urban environments. Peter will begin the program with a brief overview of the plant observations he makes in his book, Wild Urban Plants of the Northeast. Following this, Peter and Rosetta will discuss both ecological and design elements that come into play in the cities and suburbs that we call home. Up for discussion are the environments that humans intentionally and unintentionally...

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    Plants Go to War: A Botanical History of World War II

    Location: 

    Hunnewell Building, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    As the first botanical history of World War II, Plants Go to War examines military history from the perspective of plant science. From victory gardens to drugs, timber, rubber, and fibers, plants supplied materials with key roles in victory. Author and botanist Judith Sumner will speak of the many plants that were incorporated into wartime safety materials, diet and rations, and even bombers.

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    Angiosperms and Gymnosperms: The Basics

    Location: 

    Centre Street Gate, Arnold Arboretum, Boston

    What better place to look for the differences between angiosperms (plants that flower and have enclosed seeds), and gymnosperms (plants with "naked seeds," including conifers, ginkgos, and others), than in the Arnold Arboretum landscape, where over 15,000 plants reside in a living museum. Join our guide as she points out trees in both groups and describes the characteristics of each.

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    Bonsai Behind the Curtain: Uncovering Their Care and Cultivation

    Location: 

    Larz Anderson Bonsai Collection, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    Join Manager of Plant Production, Tiffany Enzenbacher, for an evening of exploration into the oldest dwarfed plant collection in the United States. As one of the caretakers of the Arboretum's bonsai collection, Tiffany will highlight many of the procedures used by staff to maintain the health of these captivating specimens.

    Learn more about and register for Bonsai Behind the...

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    Do Your Garden Plants Have a Backstory?

    Location: 

    125 Arborway, Hunnewell Building Landscape, Boston

    Museums assign value to their collections by understanding each piece’s backstory – for instance, where did it come from, who created/collected it, what does it represent, what feeling does it elicit from a visitor? The plants in our own gardens can and should do the same, but too often have become generic and mundane because we have forgotten their backstories. Perhaps even worse, we may be losing our own personal connections to what we grow. Michael Dosmann will provide his own perspective on how to re-engage with our garden plants in ways that make it personal.

    Fee...

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    Arboretum for Educators: Tree Study Part 3: Conifer Adaptations

    Location: 

    125 Arborway, Hunnewell Building, Boston

    Arboretum for Educators monthly explorations are a professional development opportunity for elementary and middle school teachers to introduce the Arboretum landscape as an outdoor classroom. Participants learn about specific hands-on life science topics that may be used or adapted by teachers for their own classrooms and outdoor spaces. Meet and network with other like-minded educators, and engage in life science learning.

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    Nature Journal Workshop

    Location: 

    Hunnewell Building, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

    Join botanical artist, Regina Gardner Milan, in this Nature Journal Workshop. Participants, ages 8-12, will develop observational skills while learning a new awareness of their environment. Seed pods, pine cones, and other plant material will be available for observation and drawing. If weather permits, you will go on a short walk to collect more specimens. Milan will do demonstrations of drawing and documenting important details, and then you will try your own hand at creating a personal nature journal....

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