This summer, the Slayton Arboretum will provide a variety of summer programs for children and families in the community.
Horticulturist and Program Coordinator at Slayton Arboretum Laurie Rosenberg said the arboretum has provided programs open to the community during all seasons.
“We have a variety of summer events, and they’re all open to the community,” Rosenberg said. “We’ve been doing them for decades.”
When Rosenberg began working at Hillsdale in 2013, she started the day camp in the summer for kids, and each day has activities based on a different theme.
Associate Professor of Chemistry Christopher Hamilton said all three of his children have attended the summer camp in previous years.
“My daughter Keira has really loved the camps. She’s done them every year that she can,” Hamilton said. “She really appreciates the time that Laurie spends on those.”
Hamilton said the programs are great for children, and he encourages people in the community to take their children to the day camps.
“It’s a great opportunity for kids to get out of the house and do something different,” Hamilton said. “It’s educational but also fun.”
For the first time, Rosenberg said the arboretum will put on a “Campfire Series” beginning in June on Father’s Day.
“It’s going to be a dad’s joke-a-thon and barbeque,” Rosenberg said.
Rosenberg said the series will extend with events in July, September, and October. July will feature a cabaret-themed evening with performers from a local theatre, September will be coffeehouse-themed and open to college students, and October is going to share scary folktales.
In addition to the day camps and campfires, the arboretum will continue its “Stories in the Garden Program” into the summer months. The program takes place on the first Tuesday of every month except for January, February, and March due to weather. Rosenberg said this program is for preschool-age kids and their parents.
“It’s a program that emphasizes reading because we have a children’s library,” Rosenberg said. “Each month has a different theme based on the book that we read. We’ll sing songs, read poems, or do a craft activity. There’s usually a snack and activities out on the trails in the arboretum.”
On May 11, the arboretum will have a plant sale, and all of the proceeds will go toward the summer children’s programs to reduce costs for participants.
Horticulturist Angie Girdham began growing the plants for the sale in Hillsdale’s greenhouse during the middle of December.
“Every single crop has very specific requirements to grow, so that they will all be in bloom for the sale,” Girdham said.
Each year, Girdham said she grows around 80 varieties of plants.
“My biggest challenge is keeping track of all the different plants and all of their needs and being able to make sure that I’m giving each plant the attention it needs,” Girdham said.
Girdham said she enjoys her job and looks forward to the Mother’s Day sale.
“It’s nice to interact with the community,” Girdham said.
Rosenberg said the arboretum will also put on its first-ever Mother’s Day tea party on May 12. The afternoon tea costs $10 per person and will take place from 2:30 to 4 p.m.
“It will include tea at the stone lab, which is at the entrance of the arboretum,” Rosenberg said. “And there will be refreshments and a wildflower walk.”
During the wildflower walk on Mother’s Day, Rosenberg said she expects to see Virginia bluebells, mayflowers, spring beauty, bloodroot, and trout lily flowers all in bloom.
Rosenberg also said the arboretum is full of crabapple shrubs and viburnum, along with the flowering trees of dogwood and redbud.
Later in the summer, Rosenberg said the arboretum will have a peony display.
“We have a lot of peonies,” Rosenberg said. “But they usually don’t start blooming until June.”