Nature Study ideas for an arboretum/garden visit

Viewing 3 posts - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)
  • Author
  • Sue

    Alright, I have free admission vouchers to Holden Arboretum for Friday, we’re praying for good weather, and I’m wondering how to best use this field trip as a Nature Study.  Part of me wants to just hike the trails and stroll through the gardens, but I don’t want it to be just a leisure trip.

    Does anyone have any suggestions for something simple to implement as a Nature Study while we’re there?  I haven’t visited the Handbook of Nature Study site yet to see which of the spring challenges might apply here, but I thought I’d ask here as well.



    Kelly Bond

    I think you can have a really nice, leisurely time while still doing nature study! What if you asked them ahead of time to be looking for something in the gardens that they really like…a favorite tree or a pretty flower…then ask them to try to remember all the details until you get home and they can sketch it. Or, bring the sketching materials to the garden and sketch away!

    Lesley Letson

    we grow landscape trees for a living, so every day is “arboretum day” for us 🙂 one of the first things we try to get our kids to recognize about trees is the difference b/w deciduous and evergreen – right now most things have leafed out, so it can be a little trickier. We also try to get them to id trees (we do this regularly so it’s a fun game, even for me because we have so many I don’t even know them all). Look for the flowers of the trees and id them by their flower (even maples, elms, etc. have flowers, you just have to look hard for them – they are small and just in the spring when everything is leafing out). Notice that some leaf, then flower and some are the opposite, they flower, then leaf out. Notice different types of bark – do bark rubbings. Notice which are shade plants and which are full sun. Understory vs. canopy trees. Upland growing vs. bottom growing trees (don’t know how much of this you see in an arboretum vs. the woods). Look for dropped “berries” from dogwoods, acorns from oaks, pinecones from pines etc. – we’ll look for those things on the ground and try to guess the tree above us before we look up. Those are the first things that come to mind that we do regularly – we just try to get them more and more familiar with all the variety – I never knew how much there was until I married my husband – the tree world is very interesting 🙂 Taking a field guide for trees would be helpful in case things aren’t labeled. 

Viewing 3 posts - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)
  • The topic ‘Nature Study ideas for an arboretum/garden visit’ is closed to new replies.