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Friday, March 24, 2023

Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens and Chewonki collaborate on summer programming – Boothbay Register

Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens welcomes Chewonki’s Traveling Natural History Program this August for three single-day naturalist programs focused on Maine’s native biodiversity. Chewonki will set up in the Bibby and Harold Alfond Children’s Garden from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on select dates for drop-in programming, free with admission for all guests.
The first of these programs, Wednesday, Aug. 24, highlights the mammals of Maine. Gardens guests can meet one of Chewonki’s non-releasable wild mammals as well as explore their collection of mounted animals, skulls, and skins to understand what adaptations help these animals survive in the wild.
Next, on Monday, Aug. 29, guests can meet and interact with Maine’s owls. Two live owls are the highlight of this program, allowing guests to get close to these elusive birds. The third and final program takes place on Wednesday, Aug. 31, and will showcase creatures of Maine’s ever-changing tide pools. Bringing this ecosystem from the rocky coast to the Alfond Children’s Garden creates an accessible way for guests to explore this unique environment and see how organisms manage to survive in a landscape always in flux.
Two of the programs, the Mammals of Maine and Tide Pools, fall on the Gardens’ “Outdoor Family Fun Days,” generously sponsored by L.L.Bean, and families can bring their children to the Gardens for free on those Wednesdays.
“Every time Chewonki has been involved with the Gardens, it’s been an exciting collaboration. We love being able to support and connect with other environmental organizations in the area,” says Sarah Callan, Interpretation & Exhibits Educator at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. “Following the five-year success of our partnership with The Caterpillar Lab and their living exhibition, the Gardens is looking for more ways to celebrate the important wildlife that depends upon our healthy forests for its survival.”
While the Gardens may be known for its focus on the botanical world, nature is complex and interrelated and, “whether it’s the flowers that bring people here or the owls, we hope that these programs help people connect to the world around them in new ways,” Callan continues. “Beyond stewardship, we want guests to be able to create lifelong relationships with the amazing organisms they meet here.”
Because of the spread of the highly contagious avian influenza, to protect Chewonki’s live animal ambassadors, the Gardens asks that guests who care for birds at home or as part of their job avoid wearing shoes or clothing worn when working with birds.
To learn more, visit MaineGardens.org. Please note, the Gardens requires tickets to be purchased in advance.
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