LISLE, Ill. (Aug. 30, 2023)—The Morton Arboretum will celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 with cultural programs, a Celebración de los Árboles festival, and opportunities to learn about its scientific work to protect and conserve threatened trees and ecosystems in Latin America.
Among the festivities will be educational and wellness classes presented in Spanish, including a Latin-focused edible gardening and food tasting program led by David Toledo of Chicago-based Contemporary Farmer, Inc. and a Forest Therapy Walk. There will also be bilingual Spanish-English nature storytimes for children.
Celebración de los Árboles (Celebration of Trees)—now in its second year and expanded to two days, Sept. 16 and 17—will immerse festival goers in Latin America’s vibrant cultures through music, dance and food amid the Arboretum’s picturesque natural settings. It is included free with timed-entry Arboretum admission. Tickets can also be purchased for bilingual Spanish-English tram tours of the Arboretum grounds on Sept. 16.
“The Arboretum is working with our Latino/a/x community partners and staff to celebrate, honor and share the diverse cultures, histories and contributions of those whose heritage is connected to Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America,” said Aarón Siebert-Llera, Esq., the Arboretum’s inclusion director.
From Mexico’s Cabo Region to Mesoamerica’s montane cloud forest, the Arboretum and its global partners are working across Latin America to protect and conserve endangered oaks and their threatened habitats. “We are making great strides with collaborators around the world in helping to prevent the extinction of ecologically and culturally important oak tree species,” said Silvia Alvarez-Clare, Ph.D., the Arboretum’s global tree conservation director, who will provide a Tree Talk on Sept. 11 about their work. She will also screen the documentary short Salvemos el Encino Arroyo about efforts to save the endangered arroyo oak in Baja California, Mexico, and Arboretum guests can tour the Arboretum’s Herbarium to see specimens related to the Mexico-based oaks research during the Celebración de los Árboles festival weekend.
The Arboretum’s work in Latin America has expanded through the new Center for Species Survival: Trees, established through a partnership with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as a hub for coordinated action to conserve tree species worldwide.
Hispanic Heritage Month is among a variety of cultural events and educational programs hosted at The Morton Arboretum during the year, including the Destination Asia Festival in August, the new Of the Earth exhibition by Polish-American artist Olga Ziemska and the upcoming Climate Conversations: Native Perspectives on Climate Resilience on Oct. 16.
Free tree-care information is available in English and Spanish at mortonarb.org for homeowners, landscaping industry professionals or homeowners associations. Spanish-language maps are also available year round at the Arboretum’s Information Desk in the Visitor Center.