By: Sandra L. Churchill
Summertime offers a lovely opportunity to tour local parks and enjoy nature’s best treasures. I recently visited the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University in Boston with my son and a couple of his friends. The site was featured recently as part of the Highland Street Foundation’s Free Fun Fridays program, which included additional programs and demonstrations on tree-trimming, the fabulous tree-themed museum, and insect specimen collections.
The kids were invited to view dragonflies, beetles, and other insects under magnifying glasses and then sketch their specimens, scientific-style, with attention to detail. A winched and harnessed tree-trimmer demonstrated the fine art of safely cutting branches above the mesmerized crowd on the grounds, and educated students on the manual talent of raising and lowering himself to higher and lower branches.
The real plus for us was the sheer beauty of the grounds—featuring blossoming, fruited, and evergreen trees from all over the world. Rose gardens in every shade of pink, peach, white, yellow, and red flanked forestry of sun and shade, and the trails were glorious with nature’s best guardians at every turn.
A delightful bonsai garden offered glimpses of gorgeously trimmed miniature trees—some as old as 300 years! The kids gloried in exploring small brooks and streams, searching for insect treasures, scanning seed pods up close, and reading tree IDs which plated many trunks along our journey.
There was ample room to walk, explore, picnic, learn, and savor nature’s beauty—all sans iPhones, video games, TV, and other technology. I thoroughly enjoyed the pace of the day—letting the kids explore and appreciate the wild and wonderful beauty of gorgeous trails and gardens.
The Arnold Arboretum in Boston is a botanical treasure that sure to be as lovely in all four seasons. We can’t wait to go back and explore this treasure, come autumn!