We are very grateful to live close to the Arboretum and to be able to visit it so often. We feel as if it belongs to us (as it does to everyone). It has a special place of belonging that is hard to explain. We are very proud of the work you do and hope you will continue to lead in protecting our biodiversity in the challenging times ahead.
Peter and Sonia Matthew
In early May this year I celebrated my 60th birthday. Over Covid, I had been deeply moved by books about trees, including Braiding Sweetgrass and The Overstory, and our book group had read both of them. Our group is made up of friends of a lifetime, from 42 years to just a few years ago. We hadn't seen each other in person as a group in 16 months or so, although we'd stayed connected through zoom. When I contemplated how to mark this milestone birthday, I came across an article about Forest Bathing. Having spent countless hours and walked countless miles in the Arboretum over Covid, I knew how healing being in nature was and began to envision a birthday celebration like none other. I reached out to a Forest Bathing guide and made a plan for a weekend afternoon in the Arboretum -- their favorite place to guide-- a few days after my birthday. I invited this special group of dear friends to join me---and they all said yes. When we met at the Bussey Gate, our guide was witness to each reunion of joy and tears, each first hug and greeting. We spent the next 3 hours deep in the heart of the Arboretum---sitting, walking, sensing, and sharing. It was a remarkable afternoon that I still hear about from my friends months later. The Arboretum was a perfect setting to ease back into being together, surrounded by mother trees and new growth, budding flowers and deep aromas of earth. I'm so grateful for this resource a mile away from my home.