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Arboretum to host tree workshop

The Crosby Arboretum will host a workshop on common Mississippi trees for kids Friday at 10 a.m. Education Curator Jennifer Buchanan said the workshop is open to all age groups of children who are accompanied by a parent. The class costs $6 for kids and participants are asked to call and reserve a space, according to the Arboretum’s website. The event is targeted to upper elementary aged children, but all age groups are welcome, Buchanan said.

The workshop will teach children to appreciate different species of trees and the importance of environmental conservation, Buchanan said. Kids will be taught to look at the shapes of leaves, and the kind of flowers and bark on a tree, Buchanan said. The event will teach kids about different trees’ uses, from making fruit to hosting butterflies, Buchanan said.

The workshop should help accustom children to exploring outside and exploring on their own, she said.

Hands on learning in nature helps kids learn better and retain information longer, Buchanan said.

“It gets the kids excited. They can sit and look at a screen all day long, but when you put a kid outside in a learning habitat, they’re going to retain that information a lot longer,” she said.

Environmental conservation is an important concept to teach kids, Buchanana said, because promoting a sustainable habitat will maintain good air and water quality and improve the quality of human life.

“We’re all dependent on clean and healthy habitats,” Buchanan said.

Parents who home school their kids frequently bring them to workshops that are held during the school year, Buchanan said. Parents typically like such programs, because they can bring all of their children together, she said. When wide age ranges of kids attend, she encourages older kids to mentor the younger ones, she said.

Attendees should be prepared to go outside, which means bringing close toed shoes, hats, bug spray and water in a bottle. Buchanan said she will teach kids what poison ivy looks like so they can avoid it, even though poison ivy is technically a vine.