Arboretum Paths: Explore summer activities for children at the Arboretum

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, June 20, 2018

By Pat Drackett, Director, The Crosby Arboretum

MSU Extension Service

Are you looking for something for your children to enjoy this summer? The Crosby Arboretum has already held several children’s programs, and several workshops are right around the corner.

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Bring your lunch, and feed the fish and turtles from the Pinecote Pavilion. Then, get out of the heat after you have explored the Arboretum on our three miles of walking trails. In our cool program room, we have just finished setting up our tables with a wide selection of children’s activities.

One of these areas features animal tracks and scat, “story” sheets, and books on wildlife and tracks to discover. If you don’t know what “scat” is, come find out!

See plaster casts of animal tracks and learn how to make your own. Your child can explore track replicas for a variety of area wildlife and then choose their favorite templates to make tracings of tracks to take home and compare to those you might come across.

Look through our table of children’s books on nature topics. Read to your child or browse through to pick up some useful information while they play nature games or make cards or other projects. Remember that access to our library is one of the many benefits of having an Arboretum membership (which are currently half price as we are halfway through the year). Take a look through our library area next door while you are here, and check out some books on wildlife, sustainable gardening, landscape design, area history or culture, and so much more.

The Arboretum abounds with opportunities for children to learn about nature, and to enjoy exploring the site with their family. There’s always something waiting around the next bend in the path – perhaps a colony of mushrooms growing on the trunk of a decaying tree, darting dragonflies, water striders “walking” on the surface of the water, a glimpse of a fox that scurries ahead on the path, or a field of dancing butterflies. We can guarantee that every visit to our public garden will be a unique and special one.

Join us for our children’s Craft Workshop on creating Nature Journals on Thursday, June 28 from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. Leave behind your  electronic devices and take this opportunity get outside and  enjoy nature. Making a nature journals is a great way to inspire your child to start exploring the great outdoors. In this workshop, Kim Johnson will guide children in creating their very own personalized journal.

Then, mark your calendars for our kids’ Seed Art Craft Workshop on Thursday, July 26 from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. also led by Kim Johnson, who will show children how to use various seeds to create their own masterpieces.

All materials are provided for craft programs. The program size is limited and registration is requested. As children must be accompanied by an adult, there is no minimum age requirement. Cost for these craft workshops is $3 for members’ children and $5 for non-members’ children $5. There is no charge for adults. Call 601-799-2311 to sign up.

Have you been wanting to learn about how you can keep bees? Bees and gardens go hand in hand! These pollinating insects offer the benefit of increasing your yield of flowers, fruit, and seed. On Friday, July 27, from 10:00 a.m. to Noon Pearl River County Extension Agent Dr. Eddie Smith will present “Beekeeping for Beginners”, an introduction to how you can get started with beekeeping.

Topics to be covered include native plants for bees, basic bee biology, choosing equipment, personal protective gear, common mistakes and valuable tips, how to grow your first colony of bees, and how to manage them throughout the year. The program is free for Arboretum members and $5 for non-members. Reservations are requested.

For more information on our activities and visiting the Crosby Arboretum, please see Yearly membership is $35 for individuals and $45 for families, but remember they are currently available at half price. Included in your Arboretum membership is the opportunity to visit over 300 other U.S. public gardens for free or reduced admission, through the American Horticultural Society’s Reciprocal Admissions Program.

The Arboretum is located in Picayune, I-59 Exit 4, at 370 Ridge Road (south of Walmart and adjacent to I-59). We have over three miles of walking trails and feature native plant exhibits highlighting a variety of coastal Mississippi ecosystems. Leashed pets are always welcome!