“Nature inspires creativity in a child by demanding visualization and the full use of the senses… In Nature a child finds freedom, fantasy, privacy…” from Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv.
It has been a long, cold winter and the view from the Landis Arboretum’s Meeting House Deck now looks out over an expanse of snow. As any young mother can tell you, kids are active in any weather and the Arboretum offers children plenty of opportunities to work off some of that energy. Erin Breglia, the Arboretum’s gardener, and her two sons, Mikey, age 2, and Freddy, age 7, share their insights about the Arboretum.
Janis Hart: How has your life changed since you had your children?
Erin Breglia: My perspective on life has drastically changed since motherhood. I am focusing more of my energy on my family rather than my own endeavors. I see life as more precious and want to make the most of the time I have been given.
JH: How has your perspective on the Meeting House changed since you had your children?
EB: Before I viewed the deck as a spot to sit back and relax and take in the amazing surroundings. Now I see the stairs and the space as a place [for my boys] to run around and play chase. I can also get a great view of my kids when they play on the grounds below the deck!
JH: What opportunities does the Arboretum offer to families with young children?
EB: I feel strongly about the Full Moon Music Series as a great time for all ages. Children 12 and under [can attend for] free, and it is a BYO event, so it is fun to bring snacks and enjoy an evening picnic. The kids that attend are always making new friends, running around and playing outdoors. Also the programs given by George Steele are so very informative and entertaining for children and adults.
JH: What are your favorite things to see and do at the Arboretum?
Freddy: Trees, hiking, snowshoeing, running .…
JH: What activities are you most interested in doing?
Freddy: Hiking the trails. Using the QR reader on the Native Plant Trail. Seeing the live performances, especially the Mettawee River Theater.
JH: Which sculpture is your favorite and why?
Mikey: The big dinosaur!
Freddy: The Dino because I like dinos!
JH: How would you convince other kids to come to the Arboretum?
Freddy: I would tell them “because it’s fun”. The books at the book sale are really cool. The people are really nice. We can roll down the hills and play hide-and-seek.
Nature, with all its wonder, diversity, and sometimes adversity, can impart so much to those that seek its guidance. Bring your child to the Landis Arboretum to look, listen, and learn all it has to show.