Arboretum Offers Affordable, Out-of-the-Box Gifts for Modern Moms

Esperance, NY - Not sure what to get mom for Mother's Day? The Landis Arboretum offers some creative gift suggestions for the most memorable Mother's Day ever! Reserve now and the Arboretum will send a letter announcing your forethought of mom on this most special day.

For outdoor moms... May 2, Saturday, 7 - 8:30 PM

WOODCOCK WALK Early spring brings the mating song and dance of the American woodcock.  Explore the fields of the Arboretum to hear his song and observe his aerial dance.  If we are lucky, we'll be able to sneak right up on him as he shows off to females. George Steele, Science Educator. Donation, $5 per person.

For horsey-set moms with a wildlife streak... May 9, Saturday, 10 - Noon at the Arboretum, and 1-3 PM at 1185 Creek Road in Esperance WILD LEARN AND WINSLOW OUTDOOR FAMILY ADVENTURE DUO

Join the Wildlife Learning Company at the Arboretum for a live animal presentation that includes local wildlife - including birds, reptiles, and amphibians - followed by an interactive guided nature walk. The program takes place at 10 AM-noon Location:  Landis Arboretum, Lape Road, Esperance, NY. Then experience the excitement of artistic equestrian JD Winslow in a workshop on the care and training of his unique riding horses, followed by a special acrobatic riding presentation.

Location:  1185 Creek Road, Esperance, NY.

One fee includes admission to both presentations.  Bring a picnic lunch.  Reservations with payment or credit card by May 1.  Members $8, non-members $10.  Family of four:  members $25, non-members $35. It's a great way for the family to honor mom!

For camera-totting moms... May 9, Saturday, 10 AM - 1 PM EYE ON: NATURE THROUGH THE CAMERA'S LENS

A photography class for all levels of proficiency. The 548-acres Arboretum becomes a photographer's paradise in this dynamic three-part exploration of nature as seen through the camera's lens.

Led by nature photographer Bill Combs, Jr. and members of the Schoharie County Photographers Club, the informal three sessions are designed to engender excitement and a deeper appreciation of technique, patience, and experience when nature is the dynamic subject of pursuit.

  • § May: Look up: Avian life at Landis.
  • § June: Look down! Explore the hidden wonders of the forest floor at the Capital Region's Arboretum
  • § July: Lookout and all around! Celebrate the abundance of Wildlife that makes the Arboretum a boundless source of inspiration and satisfaction for your mid-day photographic adventure.

Each 3-hour segment includes:

  • § 90 minutes with camera in hand, exploring the natural splendors of the Arboretum.
  • § 90 minutes of shared time as you display your images in a group setting, learn from shared suggestions and recommendations for improving technique, engaging nature, and expanding creative options. Held at the Arboretum's Harkness Library, which doubles as a classroom, art studio, workshop area.

Requirements: Enthusiasm; a digital camera, appropriate clothing (depending on season), and sensible shoes for the natural terrain of Landis. Bring a brown-bag lunch and a non-alcoholic beverage. Segments can be taken individually although participation in all three sessions will yield maximum satisfaction and learning. Cost: $25/session for members; $35/non-members.

Your Guides:  Cobleskill resident Bill Combs Jr's interest in photography began in high school. What began as a hobby developed into a privilege, taking him to places he never would have visited otherwise-from countless hours exploring the wildlife of the exotic Everglades National Park in Florida to photographing the buffalo round-up in South Dakota and elk and bighorn sheep in the Rockies. Bill and his family often can be seen exploring the trails and rich natural resources of the Arboretum.

For more than a decade, the Schoharie Photo Club has provided common ground for regional photographers -- both amateur and professional. Members discuss their art, share techniques, display their images, and discuss their body of work. Members' work is displayed at the Cobleskill Fair each August as well as in group showings at the TriCounty Arts Council Gallery in Cobleskill. The Club hosts presentations by guest speakers and knowledgeable members on various topics during its monthly meetings.;

For artistic moms...and those who love them... May 9, Saturday, 11 AM - 3 PM PAINT-OUT

Mohawk Region Chapter of the New York Plein-Air Painters will sponsor a "Paint-Out" on the grounds of the Landis Arboretum.  Plein-air painting is practiced internationally and is growing in popularity.  It refers to artwork, usually, landscapes created outdoors on site. Artists typically work in oils and create relatively small paintings that can be completed in a few hours using folding easels and lightweight, portable equipment. All materials are carried in and carried out by the artists with careful respect of the environment.  We are hoping for some fine spring weather (basically no heavy snow or driving rain, but everything else will be acceptable) and glorious flowering trees and shrubs.  Artists can park at the Meeting House.  We will reconvene at 3:30 for a casual group critique, refreshments, and a welcome chance to visit.  Donations of paintings to the Arboretum's Acorn gift shop as well as paintings left for commission sale are encouraged, but not required. In the event of rain (as in downpour), the event will be postponed to the same time the following day, Sunday, May 10.  To sign up, or for more information, participating artists can call Mary Beth Vought at 518-868-2807.

For plant lovin', book-readin,' gardening moms May 16 and 17, Saturday and Sunday, 10 AM - 4 PM SPRING PLANT AND BOOK SALE

Out of the ordinary trees, shrubs, and perennials. Bake sale on both days. Free admission and free parking. Volunteers needed and welcomed.

Beautifully designed gift certificates starting at $25 and available in $25 increments.

For star-loving moms with an eye on the sky... May 22/23, Friday/Saturday, 9:30 PM PUBLIC STAR PARTY

Alan French and his wife, Susan, have been sharing the night sky with people at star parties in the Capital District for close to 40 years. French is a telescope maker but also enjoys naked-eye astronomy.  He is Vice President of Dudley Observatory's Board of Trustees and the Albany Area Amateur Astronomers.

The AAAA owns an 18-inch telescope, and members bring a variety of other telescopes to these gatherings and are happy to share the views of deep sky wonders or offer help to those new to the hobby. Programs such as The Walk Among the Stars include constellation tours, the myths, and stories associated with the constellations, and hints on enjoying the night sky.

Visitors to the Arboretum event should bring something to sit on, and dress according to the season. A sweater is always a good idea for late evenings at Landis. Programs are canceled if the sky is cloudy. Participants are encouraged to register by calling 518-374-8460 so that they can be notified if cloudy skies force a cancellation. Those who do not pre-register can call to check about two hours before the start time.

To check if a particular star party is happening, due to cloudy skies, call 518-374-8460.  Give mom the stars for FREE! but she'll be pleased to know that the Arboretum welcomed your donation in any amount.

For birder moms... May 23, Saturday, 6 - 9 AM EARLY MORNING BIRD WALK A walk for the beginning to the serious birder.  We will explore the Arboretum grounds to find resident and migrating birds. George Steele, Science Educator. Donation, $5 per person.

For teacher moms... May 30, Saturday, 9:30 AM - 2:30 PM PROJECT WILD/AQUATIC WILD Landis Arboretum, Esperance, NY;

Project WILD (Wildlife in Learning Design) and Aquatic WILD are among the most widely used conservation and environmental education programs today.  This fast-paced workshop is designed for formal and informal educators and will teach you how to integrate wildlife-focused activities of Project WILD and WILD Aquatic into your lessons, be they in the classroom, camp, after-school program, or nature center.  Participants will receive two curriculum guides, which contain more than 200 activities for ages K-12.  The workshop will include a range of activities from the guides and will take place indoors and out on the Arboretum's grounds.  $20/participant. To register, call the Wildlife Learning Company, 607-293-6043. Make Mom a Member Make mom and official member of the Capital Region's Arboretum.  She and her household will enjoy

  • a subscription to the Arboretum's quarterly Newsletter;
  • 10% discount on plants and Acorn Shop purchases;
  • invitations to plant sale Preview Party and other special events;
  • free or reduced admission to gardens nationwide;
  • reduced admission to select Arboretum events;
  • a certificate worth up to $20 for a select Landis program. (Discounts do not apply to materials required for programs).

Details and membership application form at

Remembering Moms: Memorial and Dedication Gifts Remember mom and other loved ones, celebrate a birth, anniversary, or other significant event or person in your life and provide ongoing support to the Landis Arboretum with a memorial tree, memorial bench, or a donation of cash or stock to the Landis Arboretum.  Memorial donations help Landis fulfill our mission. Acknowledgments are sent to the donor and to family members designated by the donor.

Tree The cost of a memorial or dedication tree starts at a base price of $1,000. Choose from the Arboretum's desired acquisition list of trees. Your memorial or dedication message will be printed in black letters with a gold background on an attractive 5" x 7" photo-metal sign, which will also note the name and origin of the tree.  A portion of the cost of the memorial tree covers the cost of ongoing care for the tree.

Bench Celebrate, commemorate, or acknowledge mom, an event, friend, or family member with a Memorial Bench at the Arboretum. To meet your needs, Landis will provide a memorial bench of environmentally friendly materials and lasting beauty. A photo-metal plaque with your message will be mounted to the bench. A portion of the cost of the bench provides for the ongoing care of the grounds, including future repairs - and if needed - replacement of the bench. Contact the Arboretum for details.

Why Landis? The Landis Arboretum includes a nationally recognized collection of oaks and is registered with the North American Plant Collections Consortium (NAPCC).  The Arboretum also is included in the New York State Route 20 Bluebird Trail, bringing even more birdwatchers to the site. The Arboretum's vast dark sky and wide horizons attract area astronomers to its meeting house and parking field for sky-watching events.

The Arboretum is central to the New York State Wine and Spa Trails and in close proximity to historic Sharon Springs.  And, it is a natural stop for those traveling to the high-volume tourist attractions between the Albany, Cooperstown, and Finger Lakes Regions.  The Landis Arboretum is located 1.5 miles off scenic Route 20 in historic Esperance, NY.  There, with decades of history and the riveting beauty inherent in the Arboretum's world-class, global collections, generations of extraordinary plantings continue to impart their secrets to its visitors.

For more information about the Landis Arboretum and Adventures in Schoharie County: Contact: Thom O'Connor L A N D I S,  The Capital Region's Arboretum PO Box 186174 Lape Rd., Esperance, NY 12066; 518.875.6935