Arboretum seeking storytellers

Published 7:00 am Friday, August 17, 2018

The Crosby Arboretum is currently looking for volunteers to  tell stories to children as part of a new monthly event, Story Time at the Arboretum.

Arboretum Office Associate Sherri Lowe said the Arboretum hosts storytellers during the annual Piney Woods Heritage Festival. Children have enjoyed listening to the storytellers so much, Lowe decided to organize a monthly story telling program so families can have something to look forward to every few weeks. Lowe said volunteers can come and either read a book from the Arboretum’s library, or tell their own story.

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She said they can choose their venue – whether they want to tell stories in the library, under the pavilion or on one of the trails. Lowe said volunteers are also welcome to bring arts and crafts to go with the story. This way the volunteer can customize the storytelling experience, Lowe said.

Lowe said the event will be on the first or second Saturday of each month, depending on what is convenient for the volunteer. One person has already volunteered for a month next spring, but the Arboretum is still seeking storytellers for the coming months, she said.

While Story Time at the Arboretum may be for children, the Crosby Arboretum has a plethora of educational resources for adults as well. Next to the welcome center is a small library with hundreds of books on nature, gardening, forestry, mushrooms, soil and several other topics.

Director Pat Drackett said one of the best parts about the Arboretum’s library is that most of the books are very specific to this region. For instance, they have four copies of a very rare book on the Piney Woods in Pearl River County.

“Everything here is a story that turns into another story,” Drackett said.

The collection was created primarily from donations. She said they have received several donations from Arboretum members, and have been given a large number of rare books from botanical gardens in other parts of the state.

The Arboretum’s library has a lending system for members, where they can “check out” a book for a few weeks at a time. While visitors are not allowed to take books home, Drackett said they are more than welcome to browse the library during their visit. There are books for every age, she said.