Forest Hill Drive and Guerilla Hollow are closed on Sunday, May 25 due to high winds.

Bernheim offers springtime programs

By Amy Joseph Landon

Source: The News-Enterprise
By Andrew Critchelow
April 15, 2021

Now that spring has sprung, connecting with nature is a great way to have fun while maintaining social distancing. At Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest in Clermont, there are plenty of opportunities to take in the warmer weather and the sights of springtime.

Bernheim has a full schedule of outdoor activities planned for the month, from breezy hikes to artistic explorations.

“I think people still feel most safe in outdoor spaces so we’re really thrilled to be able to provide respite for people right now,” said Amy Landon, communications and marketing manager at Bernheim.

Because of CO­VID-­19, all buildings at Bern­heim are closed to the public. In addition, Lan­don said the amount of visitors allowed to register for programs has dropped to accommodate for social distancing. For example, she said around 40 people previously could register for the Bernheim at Night events, the registration limit has been cut down to around 15.
“It’s just to allow plenty of space for people to spread out a little bit and not gather in too large of groups,” she said.

Landon said one pro­gram that is very popu­lar with spring visitors is the Wildflower Walks, which take place from 10:30 a.m. to noon Wednesdays and from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturdays. Led by Bernheim naturalists, the walks include stories on wildflower adaptation, ecology, folklore and history.

“Wildflowers are ephemeral, they tend to come and go really quickly so it’s a good chance to see them while they’re here,” Landon said.

According to Landon, another popular program Bernheim offers is the Forest Homeschool Hikes, which brings the classroom to the great outdoors. Geared toward children in kindergarten through fifth grade, the program invites families and school co-ops to learn, exercise and have fun.

Forest Homeschool Hikes have 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. sessions on every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of this month. The events include short lessons from Bernheim educators at the Education Center’s Silo Stage followed by a guided hike.

“I think people who have opted to keep their kids home from the classroom have really enjoyed having those,” Landon said. At 2 p.m. Saturday, Bernheim 2020 Artist in Residence Gab­riela Boros will visit Bern­heim’s Lake Nevin Loop to lead guests on an art tour, showcasing her FEMMEnomenal Bluegrass Botanicals exhibition. Boros’ exhibit celebrates the achievements of 10 Kentucky women through the invocation of 10 native Kentucky plants. Boros also is set to host an art tour April 24 at Lake Nevin Loop.

“She’ll guide visitors through her exhibit as well as explain a little bit about her process,” Landon said.

For those who would like to bring home fresh produce after spending time in nature, YouthBuild Louisville’s Urban Conservation Corps’ Fresh Corps Farmer’s Market will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 21 at Bernheim. At the market, the youth group will sell produce grown at their site in Louisville’s Smoketown neighborhood. The market is across Arboretum Way from the visitor center by the flagpole.

Bernheim also is offering several guided hiking opportunities for families to enjoy on a regular basis. These include First Saturday Nature Hikes, which take place on the first Saturday of each month, First Sunday Nature Hikes, which take place on the first Sunday of each month, and the Friday Family Foray, which takes place each Friday in April.

For those interested in volunteering at Bernheim, a volunteer orientation session is from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday. For information on registering for Bernheim events or volunteering, go to bernheim.org

“Just coming out and seeing all the colors and feeling that sense of renewal and life coming back is great every year,” Landon said. “But it feels particularly symbolic and refreshing this year, I think.”

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