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Viles Arboretum

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Outdoor Experiences

Medicinal Plant Walks


with Debra Bluth

Calendar Next available session starts Jun 10, 2023 at 10 am

On this walk, we'll meet some plants, both wild and cultivated, and learn how they might be used from an herbal, homeopathic, or flower essence perspective.  Some plants might be very familiar (often our local weeds are actually wonderful medicinals), while others might be less well-known.  We'll talk about identifying factors, parts of the plants used, and preparation. Come be nourished by spending time with these healing friends.

There will be the opportunity to taste tinctures made from plants found on this walk. 

Please dress for the weather. We recommend footwear such as boots or hiking shoes you dont mind getting dirty. 

Debra Bluth, CCH, is an herbalist, homeopath, flower essence practitioner, and movement teacher with a practice in midcoast Maine and online.  She also is affiliated with Delta Gardens, a center for flower essence research, education, and practice located in NH.  

We do not wish for the price of this program to be a barrier for anyone interested in attending, and have several scholarship opportunities available.  Please reach out to us by emailing for more information.. 

Find a Frog


with Education Team

Calendar Next available session starts Jun 10, 2023 at 1 pm
1 additional session on Jun 10, 2023

Our popular family Find a Frog event is back!

Join our education team and get your hands dirty in the vernal pool next to the Visitor Center. We will be catching frogs, tadpoles and invertebrates. Staff will be available to offer educational opportunities and interpretive services. 

We highly recommend mud boots and clothing you dont mind getting dirty. 

This is a free event however we are requiring registration for sessions to maintain a safe number of individiuals along the edges of the pool.

Beginner Bird Walks


with Lauren Kircheis

Calendar Next available session starts Jun 17, 2023 at 8 am

Have you wanted to get into birding but not known where to start? Maybe you have started backyard birding but are looking to expand your horizons? Join us on one of our popular bird walk tours to and to learn more about bird ID, habitat and behavior. 

Lauren Kircheis, Viles Arboretum Program Manager, will be leading these walks. She has an expansive knowledge on Maine's birds and their biology. These classes are welcoming to all skill levels. No equipment or prior knowledge is required, we just recommend good shoes! Each walk runs between 1.5 and 2 hours, we usually cover a little over a mile on foot at a slow pace.  

A limited number of binoculars and bird books are available in the Visitor Center to borrow. 

Guided Forest Bathing Experience


with Constance Woodworth

Calendar Next available session starts Jun 17, 2023 at 8:30 am
1 additional session on Jun 17, 2023

Join Constance Woodworth, Founder of WorthIt Nature and Forest Therapy Connections, as she guides you through a centering connection with the land. She is certified through the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programs and is also fully insured and holds a wilderness first aid certificate.

-Join me for physical wellness: 2 hours among evergreens invokes in humans a 56% increased production of a specific white blood cell called the “NK Cell”; its job is to attack all dead and dying cells - this increased production has been measured to last 32 days after 1 two hour experience. The color green is calming to view. Cortisol and blood pressure levels drop. Dopamine and serotonin levels increase.

-Join me to build a stronger connection to the Earth and the More-than-Human World. Inhale the geosmin. Offer gratitude to the trees. Ask the sky for guidance. Observe the playful squirrels and birds. Allow the land to be your place of rest or rejuvenation.

We will slowly journey through the grounds, noticing springtime emerging wonders. This practice can be restorative and calming. 

We start with a somatic meditative experience, then we will journey through partnership invitations that the land will offer. We will end with a texture gathering and Forest Tea.

This is a trauma informed practice. If anything seems unappealing or uncomfortable you are not expected to participate - make it comfortable for you.

“Mother Earth is not a resource, she is an heirloom” - David Apinia, (1952-1998), Yurok Tribe

To Learn more about WorthIt please visit

Eat your Invasives
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Eat your Invasives


with Lauren Kircheis

Calendar Next session starts Sep 8, 2023 at 3 pm

Did you know that many of our most common invasive plant species found here in Maine are excellent wild edibles? As species such as knotweed, autumn olive, shrubby honeysuckles and more continue to take hold in our backyards we can help combat their aggressive tendencies by carefully harvesting them as wild edibles. 

In this program we will take a walk on the Arboretum grounds to ID invasive plant species and discuss their indiviual usefulness as wild edibles. This particular program will have a heavy focus on autumn olive as we will be harvesting this easy-to-id species as a group to use in a batch of jam. 

The program will conclude in the Viles Room with the opportunity to participate in making a batch of autumn olive jam and tasting of some choice edibles. Each participant will have the opportunity to take home a small jar of the jam that is made in this class.

Outdoor Cooking


with Woodthrush Wilderness

Calendar Next available session starts Oct 1, 2023 at 9 am
1 additional session on Oct 1, 2023

Have you ever wanted to learn how to make delicious foods over a fire? This is the class for you. We will go over some favorite’s backcountry recipes.

In this course, we will go over how to cook with a Dutch Oven, Pie Irons, using wood sticks, gill over the fire, and camp stoves. We will even bring out the Coleman oven and bake some cookies.

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