Hunnewell Building Lecture Hall or Weld Hill Lecture Hall, Arnold Arboretum, Boston
With nearly 4,000 different kinds of plants represented in the Arboretum's living collections, every day presents rich opportunities to see something new. If you enjoy learning about plants and their unique characteristics, you can contribute to science as a participant in our Tree Spotters program. This citizen science project opens a window into the Arboretum's phenology: the timing of natural events, such as the leafing out and flowering of trees in the spring and changing foliage colors in the fall. Your observations will assist Arboretum scientists in their studies of the effects of...
Take a guided tour of the state-of-the-art Weld Hill Research and Administration Building! You will learn about some of the cutting edge plant research taking place there, and explore the “green” building design.
Linden Path & North Woods, Arnold Arboretum, Boston
Arnold Arboretum Staff and Volunteers
Visit the Arnold Arboretum and venture through the North Woods. Be on the lookout for the wild inhabitants. Use your explorer senses to spot things that normally go unseen. Develop your observation skills and be prepared to make discoveries that might be surprising!
One adult may bring a maximum of three children; suitable for children ages five and up. This is a drop-in activity. The hike will begin at the start of Linden Path.
There are challenges to being a tree in a temperate climate, mainly the changing of seasons. But trees are equipped to shift with these environmental changes. Kristel Schoonderwoerd, PhD Candidate for Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University, and Fellow of the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, will explain how trees slow down for winter and subsequently reverse “gears” for springtime and the onset of the growing season.
Arborway Gate, Meadow Road, Arnold Arboretum, Boston
Families need nature all year! Celebrate the return of migratory redwing blackbirds to the meadow of the Arnold Arboretum. Search for birds with binoculars, go on a StoryWalk® about wild birds, identify bird calls, dress up as a redwing blackbird, and get a redwing blackbird tattoo!
Join in for a wake-up spring walk through the Arnold Arboretum's fabulous collections! With your guide, you will explore the less-traveled paths of the Arboretum on a brisk walk. You will get a chance to catch your breath and pause to hear about interesting plants along the way.
Join the Arnold Arboretum's Brendan Keegan for an easy walk looking for early spring birds. This April walk will focus on breeding behavior, the competitive reality of bird song, and a check on chickadee nesting tubes for signs of activity.
All skill levels, especially beginners, are encouraged to join. Make sure to bring binoculars; a few binoculars will be available to share.
Have you ever dissected a flower? Do you know what a corona and a corolla are? Join botanical artists, Angell and Duncan as they lead you in creating pencil sketches of several varieties of daffodils. You will slice the flowers open to examine and draw their reproductive anatomy. The instructors will explain distinguishing features of the beautiful spring flowers and teach basic terminology to add to your understanding of the diverse botanical world.
Some pencils will be available, but bring your own if you have them. We will provide everything else, including microscopes....
Enjoy a free guided tour of the Arnold Arboretum landscape with a knowledgeable docent. Tours are appropriate for adults and last approximately 90 minutes. The tour will include landscape highlights, seasonal interest, history, and more.
If you have a group of four or fewer persons, you are welcome to join. For a group of more than four, please request a private tour.
Join The Arboretum's current exhibiting photographer, Chris Morgan, for a walk in the Arnold Arboretum. He will discuss the best techniques for landscape photography. Make sure to bring your camera or phone!
Domesticated animals such as dogs, pigs, and horses often sport floppy ears, patches of white hair, and other features that are unknown in their wild ancestors. These traits—collectively referred to by scientists as a “domestication syndrome”—are the result of breeding less aggressive individuals.
Drawing from his new book, The Goodness Paradox (2019, Pantheon Books), Richard Wrangham will show that our cousin apes, the bonobos, also exhibit a domestication syndrome, making them the first clear example of a “wild domesticate.” Self-domestication in the wild now seems...
Hunnewell Building, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, 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.
April 6: What are Flowers? Form and Function Through Dissections
The Cape Cod white shark population has increased in recent years in response to the dramatic increase in the seal population. Shark sightings—some close to popular swimming and surfing beaches—are becoming more frequent and negative interactions between sharks and humans have become a real concern.
Gregory Skomal has studied and tracked white sharks in the Atlantic for more than 30 years. In this lecture, he will examine the behavior, ecology, natural history, and population dynamics of this species, and how scientific research can help sharks and humans coexist in the Cape...
Families need nature at all times of the year! Please meet us inside the main gate at 125 Arborway. We’ll search for signs of spring along Meadow Road, looking for flowers, insects, birdsong, and more! This hike is free and open to all.
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.
Join Arnold Arboretum's Brendan Keegan for an easy walk looking for winter birds. In January, Brendan will discuss how species alter their behaviors, diets, and/or bodies to survive the colder temperatures. For his February walk, that meets at the Bussey Street Gate, you will listen for, and discuss bird calls, and talk about owl mating season. The March walk on St. Patrick's Day will be a talk about how birds migrate and the impressive migrations of common Arboretum species, with a look for early migrants around the grounds.
All skill levels, especially beginners, are encouraged...
Richard Evans Schultes—ethnobotanist, taxonomist, writer, photographer, and Harvard professor—is regarded as one of the most important plant explorers of the twentieth century. In 1941, Schultes traveled to the Amazon rainforest on a mission to study how Indigenous peoples used plants for medicinal, ritual, and practical purposes. A new interactive online map, produced by the Amazon Conservation Team, traces the landscapes and cultures that Schultes explored in the Colombian Amazon. Plotkin and Hettler will share this map and discuss the relevance of Schultes’ travels and...
Families need nature at all times of the year! Meet inside the main gate at the Visitor Center. We will find a place to play together, making snow angels, snow humans, and more! Afterwards, families are invited to come inside the Lecture Hall to warm up with cookies and cocoa. Free and open to all, most suitable for children ages four through ten.
Chris Morgan's goal as a photographer is to evoke the emotions he feels when he views patterns and textures in nature, in the shapes of trees, and in the movements of birds. He brings details to life. The Arboretum, with its rich collections of flora and fauna, has been a major interest of his for over fifteen years, especially during blizzards, when dramatic photo opportunities appear. Digital photography, which offers a happy marriage of the arts and the sciences, lets him explore larger-format photography in creative ways through digital panorama techniques.
Gate to the Dana Greenhouses, Centre Street, Boston
The Arnold Arboretum curates and maintains one of the most historic and well-documented collections of woody temperate species. We are in the midst of a 10 year Campaign for the Living Collections, and that means we will add even more diversity to those living collections. In order to maintain the diversity that already exists, great care is taken by our landscape horticulturists to report plants that are potentially threatened by weather, pests, and diseases. The Plant Propagation department is tasked with the propagation of those vulnerable and important historic lineages...