View this email as a webpage

Visit | Join | Support | Programs & Events

Barred owl. Photo by Kellen McCluskey.

Thursday, April 28

Caroline Foundation Grant Funds Opportunities for Caroline Residents

If you live in Caroline County, we'd like to invite you to explore the many benefits of nature—free of charge!

Thanks to a grant from The Caroline Foundation, the Arboretum has launched "Nature for Health and Well-Being," an initiative aimed at ensuring all Caroline residents are able to benefit from time outdoors, regardless of income level.

"Nature for Health and Well-Being" provides free admission in 2022 for all residents of Caroline County. Visitors need simply inform front desk staff that they are Caroline residents, and they will be admitted for free.

This generous funding also supports the Arboretum's new Caroline Membership, which offers no-cost household memberships to county residents who receive SNAP benefits or identify as low income. The membership is good for two years and includes unlimited admission, access to free member programs such as First Saturday and Bird Migration walks, and discounts on programs and events. Residents may join online or in person.

We have set an ambitious goal of 300 free memberships for Caroline SNAP recipients this year. Please consider joining if you are eligible, and be sure to visit soon and often. We hope to see you at YOUR local arboretum!

Paw paw flower. Photo by Kellen McCluskey.

Join Us at Glenstone

Just a handful of spots remain for the May 26 trip to Glenstone. Located just 30 minutes from Washington, DC, Glenstone seamlessly integrates art, architecture, and landscape into a serene and contemplative environment with a mission of environmental stewardship. 

We'll take a tour of the grounds and the new Environmental Center, have lunch in the café, and spend the afternoon exploring the grounds and galleries. Click here to reserve your spot. 

Approach to the Pavilions at Glenstone. Photo: Iwan Baan. Courtesy of Glenstone Museum.

Summer Camp Update

Summer Nature Camp is right around the corner! Spots are still available in Camp Egret (June 27–July 1, ages 10–12) and Camp Bumblebee (July 18–22 ages 2–3, with a grown-up). 

If you have already registered a camper and haven't completed the necessary forms, they may be accessed here. We can't wait to see your campers this summer!

Photo by Kellen McCluskey.

Nature Notes

After fifteen years, the Arboretum's trees can still take me by surprise. Such was the case with a cockspur hawthorn positioned along the South Meadow loop. I have passed this tree countless times but somehow missed its midspring blooms until now. They are stunning. Five petaled, pink streaked, and clustered, their resemblance to the multiflora rose is not accidental: Crataegus crus-galli is in the rose family.   

The hawthorn's flower is not only perfect to look at but also botanically perfect, meaning that within a single flower are both the male and female reproductive parts. Pollinators sip hawthorn nectar, while the ovoid, serrated leaves provide food for butterflies and moths, including several species of hairstreaks, red-spotted purples, and viceroys. By fall, the leaves turn from glossy green to red and gold. 


Photo by James L. Reveal, courtesy of Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Hawthorns have been planted ornamentally since colonial times. The leaves and flowers provide seasonal interest, as do the small red fruit, known as pomes or haws. These persist from summer through midwinter and provide food for twenty species of birds, including cedar waxwings, ruffed grouse, and the fox sparrow. Humans can eat the berries raw or cooked. Hawthorn wine and jam are favored for their flavor, as well as for purported healing properties.

The Arboretum's hawthorn is many trunked, with gray and peeling bark. Like most hawthorns, its crown is umbrella shaped. Dense foliage provides shade, cover, and nesting habitat for a variety of wildlife. Both a deterrent and an advantage, the spur-like thorns that parade along the branches protect small animals from predators and are responsible for the tree's specific epithet, Crus-galli, which means "leg of a rooster" in Latin. 

For homeowners disenchanted with non-native Bradford pears, the cockspur hawthorn may be a good alternative. While Bradford pears are prone to topple over time, the hawthorn is a rock-steady, smallish tree that thrives in sun or partial shade. It pairs well with other fruiting trees (serviceberry is one example) and may even add some magic to the landscape—in Celtic lore, hawthorn is known as the "fairy tree" in honor of the sidhe who make their homes within its leafy embrace.


white and odorous with blossom,

framing the quiet fields,

and swaying flowers and grasses,

and the hum of bees.

—F. S. Flint

Jenny Houghton

Assistant Director

This Weekend...


Spring Songbird Migration

Saturday, April 30

8–10 a.m.

Meet Jim Wilson in the parking lot to track the birds moving through the Arboretum during spring migration. This program will be held entirely outside.

After this weekend, Jim will lead walks on Friday mornings, May 6, 13, and 20. Click here to register for Saturday's walk.


Yoga in the Woods

Saturday, April 30

10–11:30 a.m.

Both yoga and nature have the power to revive and restore. Join Suzann Zdnowski on Saturday mornings for gentle outdoor yoga to improve focus, balance, and overall health. Suzann will also lead discussions on native plants, nutrition, and emotional and physical states. Click here to register.

Photos by Kellen McCluskey



Philadelphia Flower Show

Monday, June 13

Light: Bruce Munro at Longwood Gardens

Thursday, September 29

2022 Juried Art Show

on view through April in the gallery

Arboretum Stroll

Tuesdays—this program is free as part of the Healthy Parks, Healthy People Initiative.

Trees of the Chesapeake

May 18 & 25, June 1

Beavers, Tuckahoe Creek, & Beyond Soup 'n Walk

Saturday, May 21

Wild Foods Forest Walk

Sunday, May 29

Forest Music

Thursday, June 9

Explore the program and events calendar > > >

Thank You to Our Corporate Sponsors