Throughout the month, the Arboretum will host a variety of events to celebrate our love of our feathered friends and of each other. “The Arboretum is part of the NC Birding Trail and recognized locally as a birding destination,” says the Arboretum’s youth education manager Jonathan Marchal. “Our work as an official MAPS (Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship) bird banding station demonstrates the Arboretum’s importance in learning more about global bird migration.”
On Valentine’s Day weekend, February 14–16, the Arboretum will host a Sweets with Your Sweetie hot cocoa bar inside the Baker Exhibit Center. Guests can enjoy a free cup of hot chocolate (while supplies last) followed by a free guided hike starting at 1 p.m. The hike will focus on the natural history of the Arboretum, including some of the region’s more prominent birds, and will be approximately one to two miles in length. Donations for the guided hike are welcomed.
Adults new to birding or looking to hone their skills are encouraged to sign up for one of the Arboretum’s bird-related Adult Education classes in February. Offerings include Survival by Degrees: Birds and Climate Change on February 11; Building a Rustic Wren House on February 14; The Wonder of Birds on February 18; and Build Your Own Bluebird Nesting Box on February 19. Students must pre-register online at or by calling 828.665.2492.
The Arboretum’s ecoEXPLORE youth program, a science enrichment program for children in grades K-8, will focus throughout the month on ornithology, the study of birds. Through February 28, ecoEXPLORERs are encouraged to take photos of birds and upload them to their online ecoEXPLORE account where they can earn points for various prizes and badges. Participants working on their Ornithology Field Badge will be invited to a special Ornithology Season Summit event on February 15 where they will meet a scientist and help tag and release songbirds. Reservations are required; visit ecoEXPLORE. net for details.