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Acres of Beauty at the Arnold Arboretum

Several neighbors have made suggestions for places to take a walk and get some exercise and fresh air – thank you! We’ll work through the list, starting with the Arnold Arboretum.

The 280-acre Arboretum is part of Boston’s Emerald Necklace – 1,100 acres of green spaces designed by the brilliant landscape architect Frederick Law Olmstead. The Emerald Necklace also includes the Back Bay Fens, the Riverway, Jamaica Pond and Franklin Park.

Being surrounded by so much carefully planned but natural beauty, wedged between busy streets and a train station, makes you grateful to the people who created the Arboretum and keep it going.

Any time of year is a good time to wander through the Arboretum, even on a cold and gray day. You can explore among the more than 15,000 trees, shrubs and vines – many of them labeled (you can Google the Latin names for translations). There are sections that look manicured and planned, and others that make you think Bambi will come along any minute. It’s quiet, just the sound of birds and the occasional plane overhead.

While Lilac Sunday programs have been cancelled because of Covid-19, you can still enjoy the lilacs in bloom. Peak season runs from late April through late May. The staff asks us to stay at least 6 feet apart from others, to wear a cloth mask or face covering, and if it’s crowded to come back another time. And no cutting the lilacs.

www.arboretum.harvard.edu | 617.524.1718

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