Spring is one of the best times to get a handle on invasive species. For herbaceous invasives such as shrubby honeysuckles and bittersweet, they are just beginning to leaf out making them easy to identify without the added risk of spreading seeds that we get in the fall. For our more mobile invasives including insects such as the brown-tail moth, most have not yet left their dormant stages at the start of spring, making it easy for us to get ahead of them before they begin to disperse. Taking the time to control invasives and encourage native species in your own backyard will help create higher-quality habitat for wildlife, and reduce your long-term maintenance costs on your landscape.
We are excited to announce that we will once again be offering American chestnut seedlings in 2023. In partnership with the Maine Chapter of the American Chestnut Foundation we are happy to be able to provide access to these incredible trees.
Spring is just around the corner, and with it comes the highly anticipated Spring Market and Plant Sale at Viles Arboretum in Augusta, Maine. This annual event draws gardening enthusiasts from all over the state, eager to stock up on a wide variety of plants and locally made products to support a good cause.
Join the Count: Good For You, Good For Birds
Positive vibes go both ways when people connect with birds.
New York, NY, Ithaca, NY, and Port Rowan, ON—The 26th annual Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) takes place Friday, February 17, through Monday, February 20. Bird and nature lovers everywhere unite in the effort to tally as many of the world's bird species as possible over these four days. Combined with other bird counts, GBBC results help create a clearer picture of how birds are faring—whether individual species are are declining, increasing, or holding steady in the face of habitat loss, climate change, and other threats.
The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry recently approved Viles Arboretum as a host site for its 2023 MCC Environmental Stewards Program. MCC stewards volunteer for a 45-week, 1700-hour term of national service. They serve individually with nonprofits, state or federal agencies to increase organizational volunteer capacity and aid in the development and implementation of host sites’ land management plans. We are excited to welcome Harrison Lobb to the Arboretum team.
Viles Arboretum will be accepting bid proposals for our Boardwalk project through March 12, 2023 at 8:00am. Bids submitted after this deadline will not be considered.
For complete details and submission info, please click the link below.
I’d like to preface this by saying that no, not all forestry practices across the world can be considered sustainable. There are even some current practices in the State of Maine that couldn’t receive that level of praise. As with all industries, there are some groups that do better than others in considering the well being of the ecosystems they depend on for their products. However, there has been a lot of rhetoric recently which claims that we could replace our need for forest products all together with fast growing crops such as hemp or bamboo. While the use of these products for fiber has merit, and should be considered, it is not likely that these products will be a sustainable option to replace the need for forest harvesting here in Maine.
The “Forest of the Future '' collection at Viles Arboretum is a series of tree installations designed to take visitors through an immersive, placed-based journey into Maine’s future woodlands. A whimsical concept, grounded in cutting-edge science which demonstrates many of the practices and technologies that Maine landowners can adopt as our State mobilizes to adapt to the impacts of climate change. This collection will have three planting sites, each of which demonstrates key technologies and tools in our fight against climate change.
Our members are a critical component to the success of the Arboretum. In 2022, over $30,000 was raised through memberships, which helped to support:
- Free, year-round access to our trails and botanical gardens.
- Youth programs and summer camp
- Educational programs and events for adults and children
- Free ski and snowshoe rentals for children
- Interactive and educational exhibits
- Maintenance of dozens of botanical collections
- Development of new climate research project
- Conservation of our natural environment