The Maine Department of Agriculture Conservation and Forestry (DACF) has recently verified the first known occurrence of mile-a-minute weed (Persicaria perfoliata) in Maine. This fast-growing invasive vine, native to India, Asia, and the Philippine Islands, poses a significant threat to nurseries, Christmas tree farms, reforestation projects, and restoration areas, as it can smother young plants and trees under its dense growth.
For all the resources that are (rightfully) dedicated to climate change, much less consideration is given to its parallel relationship with Biodiversity. Biodiversity is the central organizing principle that creates resilience in habitats and ecosystems worldwide. For those not familiar with the concept of biodiversity, simply put it is used to define the “variety of living organisms” found in a defined ecosystem or habitat. Ecosystems and habitats with high biodiversity have a higher resilience to change while those with low biodiversity are more likely to see major breakdowns in ecosystem functioning with the addition of stressors such as climate change, disease and invasive species.
Viles Arboretum and Healthy Communities of the Capital Area unveil a New StoryWalk® Experience
Viles Arboretum and Healthy Communities of the Capitol Area are delighted to announce the launch of a new StoryWalk®, a collaborative project for young people here in Augusta. The StoryWalk® features 18 stations and will showcase a rotation of stories used with our local Maine SNAP-Ed program as well as a selection from beloved Maine Children's authors. Our very first story selection is “A Seed is Sleepy” written by Dianna Hutts Aston and illustrated by artist Sylvia Long.
Nature has a way of captivating our hearts and refreshing our spirits. Situated in the heart of Augusta, Maine, Viles Arboretum beckons visitors to immerse themselves in the wonders of the natural world. Boasting a diverse array of trees, enchanting gardens, and miles of scenic trails, the Arboretum provides an unforgettable experience for nature enthusiasts of all generations.
The Visitor Center at Viles Arboretum serves as a hub for engaging activities and immersive experiences, offering a wealth of opportunities for exploration and learning.
Our popular observation beehive exhibit has returned to the Visitor Center!
Each year in the fall the frames in the observation beehive are returned to a hive box located in the field behind the Visitor Center. This is done so that the bees can respond properly to the cooler winter temperatures and not become confused by the warm temperatures found in the Visitor Center during the winter. Colder temperatures and shorter days will prompt the bees to make several behavioral changes including a process of evicting male bees, known as drones from the hive. The sole purpose of drones is to mate with the queen; during the winter the queen produces fewer eggs eliminating the need for drones. Where the drones are not contributing to hive upkeep they are removed to reduce the strain on food supply.
We recently introduced a new pond-habitat observation tank in our Visitor Center. This tank is a demonstration of the rich and diverse warm water pond and stream habitats that can be found throughout the state of Maine. Every species of fish and other aquatic creatures in the tank were carefully collected from the water sources on the Arboretum property, making it a true reflection of the natural ecosystems that can be found in this region. This unique addition to our indoor Visitor Center space allows visitors to get an up-close view of the aquatic habitats found on the property. As you explore the tank you may encounter some of the following creatures:
Viles Arboretum's Wetland Boardwalk is a breathtaking outdoor attraction that takes visitors on a quarter-mile immersive journey through Maine's natural surroundings. However, the current structure is deteriorating and requires replacement. The project is scheduled to commence in the upcoming spring of 2023, and we seek your support to help us achieve our goal of building a new, professionally designed and engineered boardwalk.
Viles Arboretum is proud to announce that it has been awarded a grant from the 2023 Project Canopy Planning and Education Grant Program to support its groundbreaking “Forest of the Future” research and education project. This innovative project, developed in partnership with the Waldo County Soil and Water Conservation District, NRCS, and others, will showcase crucial land management concepts and technologies defining Maine's future woodlands, particularly as the State adapts to the impacts of climate change.