When I think of Adkins Arboretum, I can’t help but think of my children and grandchildren. Like many of us, when I travel back to my childhood neighborhood, I hardly recognize the place. What used to be woods is now condos. What was once meadow is now a shopping mall. What once was a swimming hole is now a marina filled with power boats and a water sheen from leaking oil or gas. I remember the first time I took my kids back to show them the old place. They took a breath and asked, “What’s that nasty smell?” It was, of course, just the smell of city air.
It’s experiences like this that help me value Adkins Arboretum, where the good work of preserving the native land is going on every day. It is so relaxing and refreshing to take a walk at the Arboretum. This month, there is lots to see, like the paw paw ripening, the summersweet with its fragrant white spikes of flowers, the cranefly orchid along the Upland and Tuckahoe Valley paths, and the trumpet vines that hummingbirds love so much, just to name a few. When I get out in the woods, I love to smell the fragrances, hear the birds calling, and see the dappled light through the trees. It never fails to rejuvenate me, and it fills me with a sense of wonder and appreciation.
Knowing that Adkins Arboretum is fostering conservation and preservation is as worthy a cause as anyone could want. When we consider the strange weather we’ve had this year, you can’t help but wonder what is going on. And while you’re wondering, you know that preserving our green spaces and protecting our land is the best thing each of us can do to protect our environment. So come to the Arboretum and get some ideas on how to preserve your green space. Learn about native plants to enhance places big and small. Don’t forget to take a walk and let your senses fill you with peace.
by Diana Beall