The Arboretum is busy expanding its network of accessible walking paths. These paths are designed to have very gradual slopes and smooth asphalt or concrete paver surfaces and work well for wheelchairs, strollers, walkers and anyone who wants to enjoy the late fall landscapes. Our new Bog Accessible Walk starts at the Ordway Shelter, passes the TREX Deck and continues along Green Heron Pond to the new Bog Boardwalk. The Boardwalk is fully accessible and a great place to watch birds and see the unique plants that grow in bogs. Also new is the Patricia Dorn Jaffray Pathway, named for the late Arboretum trustee and volunteer. It runs from the Dahlia Parking Lot to the Ornamental Grasses Parking Lot and is paved with attractive concrete modular pavers donated by Anchor Block Co., and lined with edible fruit plants, including strawberries, raspberries and more. Finally, in the Hosta Glade, an asphalt walk is being rebuilt and smaller paved walks are being replaced with flagstone pavers. You'll see the final results in spring!
As you ponder holiday giving, consider a gift of Arboretum membership for friends and family. Memberships start at $45 and "one size fits all." With each gift membership purchased, you'll receive a 2012 Arboretum wall calendar to give...or keep for yourself. The calendar features work by the Arboretum Photographers Society. Offer good through Jan. 30, 2012. Visit www.arboretum.umn.edu/join.aspx or call 952-443-1440. Another option is to honor a loved one with a donation to the Arboretum. For details, visit www.arboretum.umn.edu/give or call Terri Gustavson at 952-443-1432.
—Auxiliary Holiday Sale & Preview Event. We can't wait for the Auxiliary's special Preview Sale Event on Thursday, Dec. 1, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Enjoy first selection on one-of-a-kind wreaths, herbal gifts, handmade clothing & decor, fresh greens and more! It's a great way to avoid the crowds and spend a relaxing evening browsing & shopping. Plus live music, hors d'oeuvres, cocktails and fun. Fee is $25. Call 612.625.9865 or reserve online by Nov. 30. Can't make it for the preview? Then join us for the Auxiliary Holiday Sale on Dec. 3 (9 a.m. - 4 p.m.) and Dec. 4 (noon-5 p.m.). Also that weekend, check out the Herb Society Sale (Oswald balcony) & the Art & Photography Exhibit & Sale (MacMillan Auditorium) presented by Tamron and National Camera. Don't forget the Gift Store's "double discount days" Nov. 25-Dec. 4, when members receive 20-percent off purchases. Oh my!
—Weekend Family Fun: Join the "Buckthorn Bust" brigade to dig out this villainous plant! What evil crime has this invasive shrub committed, perhaps right in your neighborhood? Be part of an interactive play to find out! Noon to 4 p.m. every Saturday & Sunday in November. Learning Center. Free with gate admission.
—Winter Photography at the Arboretum. Due to popular demand, photographer John Pennoyer will offer a second section of his "Winter Night, Winter Light: Photographing Winter Wonders" class on Saturday, Dec. 17 (1-6 p.m.). He will cover all aspects of winter photography and there will be opportunities to get out on the Arb grounds and shoot. Fee is $60/ $70. Call 952-443-1422 or click here.
—Travel Update. Today is the last chance to take advantage of the $100 discount on the Floriade and Belgian Begonia Carpet tour, planned for Aug. 10-17, 2012. An exciting "once-in-a-decade" trip to Brussels, Bruges and the Belgian countryside! Also on tap for 2012: Washington, D.C. and Virginia historic homes tour (April 19 - 26) and exotic India (Nov. 4-15). For more information, click here.
—'Arboretum Through a Child's Eyes.' The Arboretum is the focus of the premiere episode of "Through a Child's Eyes," a TV series produced by Tom Losey that highlights local attractions from a kid's perspective. The show will air several times during Thanksgiving week on Metro Cable Network (Channel 6). We hope you'll tune in!
—Doggone Success! A grand total of 200 four-legged friends - plus human companions - attended All About Dogs Day at the Arboretum on Saturday, Nov. 5. They enjoyed the crisp sunny day, strolling Three-Mile Drive and taking in the Pet Expo (special thanks to sponsor Adogo Pet Hotel and all the pet services/vendors represented). Here's a link to photos from the day. Hope to see you at the next Dogs Day this coming spring!