FLAGSTAFF - The Arboretum at Flagstaff opens for the 2008 season on Tuesday, April 1 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. This year we want to welcome visitors of all ages to come and celebrate opening day at The Arboretum free of charge. The Arboretum has over 200 acres of vast meadows and ponderosa pines sprawled across the property. Enjoy a peaceful walk along the "Nature Trail", while viewing a wide variety of bird species in native habitats in wetlands, forests, and meadows. On your walk, stop by the cultivated gardens and see the early blooms. Visitors can enjoy a guided tour of the gardens at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Also, the "Live Birds of Prey" program takes place at 12 p.m. and 2 p.m.
The "Live Birds of Prey" programs will be offered every day this year at noon. During the programs, individuals will have the opportunity to view native and exotic hawks, owls, and falcons during the live raptor demonstrations.
Sylvester Alred, a biology professor at Northern Arizona University (NAU) will be at the Arboretum at 4 p.m. on opening day to discuss everything you ever wanted to know about our local squirrels. He will be available to sign the children's book "Rascal: The Tassel-Eared Squirrel." The original colored penciled illustrations, drawn by Diane Iverson, will also be on display at the Arboretum through the end of May.
In April and May, another special exhibit called "Bugs at Work" will feature insects, spiders and other creatures that help with pollination, soil development, and pest control in the gardens and greenhouse. There will be a wide variety of mounted and live insects on loan from the Colorado Plateau Museum of Arthropod Biodiversity at NAU.
The Arboretum is a botanical garden, research center, and nature preserve dedicated to educating the public about the plants and plant communities of the Colorado Plateau. It is located four miles south of Route 66 on scenic S. Woody Mountain Road in west Flagstaff.
The Arboretum will be open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. from April through October. General admission is $6 for adults, $3 for children 6-17 and free for children under age six. For more information, visit thearb.org or call (928) 774-1442.