Spring is here, and with summer not too far away, it’s a good time to think about inexpensive places to go this summer to explore the great outdoors. The Landis Arboretum in Esperance could be that undiscovered gem.
The arboretum is a haven for nature enthusiasts. Its mission is to foster the appreciation of plants and trees through educational programs offered 12 months a year, said Fred Breglia, the executive director of the arboretum.
“With our impressive calendar of events, we bring in an arsenal of children’s programs,” Breglia said. “So we’re a great place for kids to come and learn about nature because we believe that’s where it all really starts.”
There are educational programs for all ages on a range of topics including herbal remedies, various bird walks, insect studies and beekeeping classes, discussions about various plants and trees, star parties where people learn about various constellations, as well as plant and tree care and maintenance.
In addition to the classes about nature, there are also arts and crafts classes, photography classes, writing workshops, and musicians that perform at the meetinghouse.
There are eight miles or more of hiking trails at the arboretum and all of the grounds are free and open to the public. There will also be a new trail by fall that has several small waterfalls, he said.
Though the arboretum owns 548 acres of land, 40 acres are under cultivation, Breglia said.
“When I say cultivation, I mean we have trees and shrubs from all over the world planted in those 40 acres and they’re much more landscaped or park-like,” he added.
Those varieties include Mongolian oaks, Chinese pines and Japanese umbrella pines, many of which date back from 1950s, Breglia said.
“Of course we’ve continued to add to those all the way up to recent years,” Breglia said.