Field Guide to Hoyt Arboretum


Opal School students share their special spaces in Hoyt Arboretum with the world.

Written by children, ages 4-6, and teachers of Opal School at the Museum.

70 page paperback book | Field Guide to Hoyt Arboretum

Opal School was named after the young Oregon naturalist, Opal Whitely, who kept a diary of her experience as a 6-year-old growing up in the logging camps near Cottage Grove in the early 1900s. Her words capture the sentiments we sense in the children growing up here at Opal School as they play in the abundant spaces of Hoyt Arboretum next door. As it was for young Opal Whitely, these spaces have become their friends. The children communicate with deep empathy for every living and natural element they encounter as they wander there. As adults who understand the value in sustaining this sense of wonder we marvel at their capacities to imagine such connection. And we are grateful for it because we know it has the potential to sustain us all. We invite you to listen to the heartfelt voices captured in these pages. We think it is lovely and hope you feel the same

15 minute DVD | The Importance of Nature Play

This video highlights the benefits of children's relationship to the natural world and offers inspiration for adults who are willing to support that relationship by capturing aspects including wildness, story making, developing empathy and finding connection. Using images of children and adults at work and play in a variety of environments, and engaged in projects from service learning to artistic composition to fort building, this beautiful imagery offers parents, educators and community groups a resource to strengthen commitment to conservation education efforts.


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