“I can’t believe we learned so much in just a few minutes!”

Elementary school student visiting the Arboretum

This fall, the Field Study Experiences at the Arnold Arboretum—our educational outreach programming for pre-school and elementary school students—expanded in all domains: more new guides, more new Boston Public School classrooms participating in the programs, and more positive feedback from teachers. With eight new guides joining a group of fifty active volunteers, our training in September involved explorations across the Arboretum landscape in preparation for programs along Meadow Road, the conifer collection, and Hemlock Hill.

We were excited to welcome Kindergarten students from Mildred Avenue K8 School when programs commenced on September 30. As fall unfolded, programs continued for children from all elementary grades as well as pre-school levels, venturing into woodlands, scouting “Squirrel Alley” for animal activity, opening fruits to find seeds, and lifting decaying logs to discover invertebrate life at eye level. We are continually impressed with the students’ ability to engage with a vibrant landscape, and with an increased number of guides we provided an ideal adult-to-student ratio to enhance conversations about the children’s discoveries. As one Boston Public School teacher stated in her evaluation of the program, “The content was appropriate to their grade level science curriculum, and was accessible to all students. I love this field trip so much because each year every single student enjoys him or herself. This experience allows students from urban environments to experience nature, some for the first time, and discover natural resources so close to their homes.”

In the fall 2019 season our programs served 1109 students, 1023 of whom were from Boston Public Schools and received free bus transportation from the Arboretum to attend a field study. With all that we’ve learned over the season, we are excited to resume and continually deepen our work with students and teachers in spring 2020!

From “free” to “friend”…

Established in 1911 as the Bulletin of Popular Information, Arnoldia has long been a definitive forum for conversations about temperate woody plants and their landscapes. In 2022, we rolled out a new vision for the magazine as a vigorous forum for tales of plant exploration, behind-the-scenes glimpses of botanical research, and deep dives into the history of gardens, landscapes, and science. The new Arnoldia includes poetry, visual art, and literary essays, following the human imagination wherever it entangles with trees.

It takes resources to gather and nurture these new voices, and we depend on the support of our member-subscribers to make it possible. But membership means more: by becoming a member of the Arnold Arboretum, you help to keep our collection vibrant and our research and educational mission active. Through the pages of Arnoldia, you can take part in the life of this free-to-all landscape whether you live next door or an ocean away.

For more tree-entangled art, science, and writing, subscribe to Arnoldia by becoming a member of the Arnold Arboretum.