This is part of the new Science in Our Park Series. Come to the Arnold Arboretum and be a scientist! Get your hands onto scientific tools, use your observation skills and share your findings with others.
Census Challenge will test your categorizing and observational skills. Join us in the North Woods and help us catalog the diversity of living organisms found in a small area. You will be surprised!
One adult may bring a maximum of three children; suitable for children ages five and up. This...
Trees are one of humanity’s most constant and varied companions. From India’s sacred banyan to the fragrant cedar of Lebanon, they offer us sanctuary and inspiration – not to mention the raw materials for everything from aspirin to maple syrup.
In Around the World in 80 Trees, Jonathan Drori uses plant science to illuminate how trees play a role in every part of human life, from the romantic to the regrettable, to the downright ridiculous. Stops on the trip include the lime trees of Berlin’s Unter den Linden boulevard, which intoxicate amorous Germans and hungry bees...
Lobster War is an award-winning documentary film about a conflict between the United States and Canada over waters that both countries have claimed since the end of the Revolutionary War. The disputed 277 square miles of sea known as the Gray Zone were traditionally fished by U.S. lobstermen. But as the Gulf of Maine has warmed faster than nearly any other body of water on the planet, the area’s previously modest lobster population has surged. As a result, Canadians have begun to assert their sovereignty, warring with the Americans to claim the bounty.
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...
Have you ever wanted to be able to separate medicinal plant facts from fiction? This introductory survey course, taught by two experts in the field of ethnobotany, will reveal essential connections between both the anthropological foundations and scientific principles underlying plant-derived drugs around the world. Knowledge will be built for the non-expert, atop four essential pillars of anthropology, botany, chemistry, and pharmacology. The class will be structured to include interactive classroom exercises, the making of simple herbal remedies, and lectures. Our learning experience...
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!
Evergreens can be conifers or broad-leafed deciduous plants…they aren’t all pine trees. Starting in the classroom, Laura Mele (Arnold Arboretum Horticulturist; MA Certified and ISA Certified Arborist)will introduce basic identifying characteristics of common evergreens and the lead a tour through the Arboretum’s Conifer Collection and Rhododendron Dell for...
This slow-paced guided therapeutic experience promotes wellness through a series of gentle sensory-opening invitations that welcome us to notice more of our natural surroundings. By deepening our connection with the natural world and each other, we open ourselves up to the healing medicine of the forest. Forest Bathing is part of a global effort to tend to the stressful conditions of living in modern industrialized civilization.
Microbes play critical roles in the biology and health of human beings, but we are not the only species that benefits from intimate relationships with microbes. Ants, for instance, rely on the microbial communities living in their guts to process food and make strong armor.
Corrie Moreau will discuss this unique aspect of ant biology and what it tells us about the diversity and dominance of ants in terrestrial ecosystems, the evolutionary history of social insects, and the broad-scale evolutionary patterns of life.
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
Bussey Street Gate, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston
Redirect your commute to the Arnold Arboretum for an exploratory journey into what wildness is, what it could be, and how it might be recovered in our daily lives. No matter if you live in the city or farther afield, exposure to natural elements and observation of other-than-human creatures can refresh your mind and fuel your soul. Gavin Van Horn will lead this landscape amble, interjecting readings and thoughts for finding wildness within and beyond self. Dress according to the weather and plan to walk approximately one mile, on and off trail, up and down steep terrain.