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Kids explore Nash County Arboretum

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Henry Larsen, 5, left, gets help from his dad, Stewart Larsen, while making a butterfly craft in the garden Saturday at the annual Arboretum Day at the Nash County Arboretum in Nashville.

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BY JENNY WHITE
Staff Writer

Monday, September 23, 2019

Nash County Master Gardeners held their annual Aboretum Day on Saturday with a twist: It was Kid’s Day at the Arboretum.

Nash County Horticulture Agent Matt Stevens is the official superintendent of the arboretum on Eastern Avenue in Nashville, but Nash County Extension Master Gardeners conceptualized the gardens in 2000 and have provided the ideas and manpower to nurture and grow it since then.

“We always have an annual Day at the Arboretum event,” Stevens said, “But this year, the Master Gardeners volunteers wanted to focus activities on things kids would find interesting. We think it’s important to show kids how to make connections with nature and outdoors.”

Activities included rock painting, crafts, tractor rides, music, stories and many informational located throughout the arboretum.

Stevens said he knows how hard it can be to get kids to go outside. He’s got two children, ages 15 and 12.

“Sometimes it’s hard to get kids away from the technology and screens — but once you do, most of the time they’ll find there is lots to see and do outside,” Stevens said. “I like being outdoors with kids, because they have a different perspective than I do about the gardens, the plants and the science. It’s fun to see and hear what they think.”

The Nash County Arboretum features eleven demonstration gardens, which include the Rose Garden, Woodland Garden, Rain Garden, Pollinator Garden, Terraced Garden, Patriot Garden, 4-H Garden, Screening Garden, Tranquility Garden, Holly Garden and Homestead Garden that’s located behind the Nash County Agriculture Center beside a historic log cabin that has been moved to the center’s property.

Londyn Hernandez, 9, attended the event and said her favorite part was in the Patriot Garden, where volunteers offered information about local birds, food birds eat and birdhouses.

“I learned about some parts of plants birds like to eat,” Hernandez said,

Siblings Ayla Dogaci, 11, and Gavin Dogaci, 7, also attended and both liked the tractor ride kids could take around the arboretum. Gavin was happy to have some crafts he made at the event.

“I made this in the rainforest garden,” he said holding up a handmade rain noisemaker. His sister Ayla said she liked the rain garden and learning about different plants.

William Daisher brought his daughters, 8 and 10, to the event and said they’ve visited the Nash Arboretum before.

“We’ve walked around it several times and have taken family photos out here, too,” he said. “It’s a nice place, and I’ve been surprised how much the girls like it. They wouldn’t admit to it, but I think they like to disconnect every now and then just walk around outside where it’s quiet.”

While the gardens are beautiful to walk through and enjoy, Stevens said they’re also educational.

“People in the community can come and see options for their gardens at their homes. We try to show the community the diversity of plants you can plant in our area that are proven to work well with our climate,” Stevens said.

Self-guided tours are offered every day, sunrise to sunset.

The Master Gardeners also offer walking tours periodically and the next one is scheduled for Friday. The tour, led by volunteer Christine Ricci is titled, “Ten Outrageous Organisms.” The tour starts at noon in front of the Agriculture Center.

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