Mt. Cuba Center is offering a new way to experience its woodlands, fields and gardens: A series of five walk-and-talk tours led by high-level garden staff who share their perspective and insights.
Mt. Cuba Center Fall Walks & Hikes will give participants the chance to get outdoors while learning about master planning, land acquisition, hydrology, collections development and the importance of nature to health. It’s ideal for people who prefer to learn about nature first-hand.
These hour-long walks (except for the 90-minute Oct. 5 walk) are held at 9 a.m. on Thursday or Friday mornings between Sept. 27 and Nov. 2. The cost is $12 per walk or $54 for the series. Tickets can be purchased online.
Each of the five outings in the Walk & Hike series has its own theme:
- Mergers & Acquisitions, Sept. 27: Led by Natural Lands Manager Nate Shampine and Red Clay Supervisors Steve Hands, this walk will explore a variety of habitats, including some of the 500-acre Red Clay Reservation, which recently merged with Mt. Cuba Center. Participants will learn about how land management practices have changed over time and what the future holds for this picturesque property.
- Visions for the Future, Oct. 5: Led by Executive Director Jeff Downing, this hike will be an on-the-ground exploration of the future envisioned by Mt. Cuba Center’s Master Plan. Some of those potential projects include a state-of-the-art greenhouse complex, a welcoming visitor center and an expanded education hub. This walk, which lasts 90 minutes, includes relatively steep slopes and begins at the greenhouse.
- Cool Collections, Oct. 12: Director of Collections Amy Highland and Arboriculture Manager Bill Trescott will highlight Mt. Cuba Center’s native plant collections. Participants will learn about Mt. Cuba Center’s upcoming native clematis collection and about the role played by its collections of trilliums and other native plants.
- Fields & Streams, Oct. 18: This scenic hike on the former Bishop Farm will exemplify the connections between land and water. Walkers will learn about the evolution of the site as they walk through open fields and restored woodlands, follow a stream and view a historic reservoir.
- Naturally Healthy, Nov. 2: Autumn will be changing Mt. Cuba Center’s historic Gregg Tract, as birds migrate and leaves change. Participants will experience this seasonal cycle during a walk both invigorating to the body and relaxing to the spirit as they learn and experience the connections between nature and personal health.
Attendees on every walk, which will be held rain or shine, are reminded to dress for the weather, bring a water bottle and be prepared to walk along uneven terrain.