BOOTHBAY — This year, Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens is offering two new children’s programs, Fall Explorations, for ages 4-9, and Budding Naturalists, ages 10-14. Whether families are homeschooling, supplementing remote learning, or looking for original hands-on activities for their children, these COVID-adapted programs offer something for everyone, according to the Gardens, in a news release.
“After the success of a similar summer camp model, we’re really excited about these programs,” said Youth and Family Program Coordinator Erika Huber . “We’ve worked hard to make them affordable enough for families to participate.”
Both programs take place over a number of weeks.
Fall Explorations, a five-week program, begins the week of September 7. During that week, participants will be invited to stop by the Gardens’ Visitor Center to pick up their first supplies for hands-on activities, packed in accordance with CDC guidelines.
Participants then take their supplies into the Gardens for independent nature discovery. Subsequent pick-ups will follow over the next four weeks. For safety and ease, activities will take place at the Gardens and at home, and flexible start-dates and program-lengths are available. Topics will include insect lives, habitats, seeds, trees, and hibernation/migration.
“There are also lots of perks for participants,” said Huber. “We’re offering free Gardens admission for one child and one adult and special backpacks filled with tools for investigation and discovery.”
The free admission is also offered during the upcoming Caterpillar Lab residency, August 27-31.
The other program, Budding Naturalists, is geared toward children interested in expanding their nature-identification skills. Participants can join the Gardens’ in-house experts for weekly two-and-a-half hour, small-group outdoor experiences. These discovery and exploration sessions cover topics like caterpillars, pond explorations, an apiary tour, fall birding, trees and foliage, and identifying wildflowers. Though programming at the Gardens will take place outdoors, participants are required to wear a face covering at all times.
The cost of the five-week Fall Explorations program is $25, and each weekly session of Budding Naturalists is $10. Costs for both programs cover an adult/child pair. To learn more about these weekly activities, both at home and at the Gardens, please visit the CMBG website, MaineGardens.org.
At nearly 325 acres, Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens is the largest public Garden in New England. Voted #1 on TripAdvisor, the nationally recognized public garden is located in Boothbay, Maine. The mission of the Gardens is to inspire meaningful connections among people, plants, and nature through horticulture, education, and research.