Valpo-based arboretum offering summer camp, other nature programming

Written by Chronicle Staff. Posted in Community News & People in the News, Featured

Published on April 25, 2018 with No Comments

The 330-acre Gabis arboretum at Purdue Northwest in Valparaiso is transformed into an exciting, outdoor classroom for seven weeks during the summer. Children ages 6-11 engage in hands-on activities in themed five-day camps. Each week includes hikes, science projects, games and more! Space is limited; children may register for one week or all seven.

Week 1: June 11-15 – Welcome to the Wild!

Week 2: June 18-22 – Amazing Animals

Week 3: June 25-29 – What’s in the Water?

No camp July 2-6

Week 4: July 9-13 – Wild Creatures, Big and Small

Week 5: July 16-20 – Growing Gardens

Week 6: July 23-27 – Wilderness Survival

Week 7: July 30-Aug 3 – Nature’s Inspiration

Member pricing (per week) is $140 for the first child, $125 for an additional child. Non-member pricing (per week) is $150 for the first child, $135 for an additional child. Registration and payment are due one week prior to each start date. Visit Taltree.org to register online or call 219-462-0025 for more information.

Camp runs daily, Monday through Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Extended care is offered from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. for $10 a day. To register, visit www.taltree.org.   The arboretum is located at 450 West 100 North in Valparaiso.

Following is a brief description of each week’s activities.

Welcome to the Wild!

Could you find water in the woods? Do you know which plants are safe to eat? Would you be able to survive in the wild? This week will teach campers the basics of surviving with nature.

Amazing Animals 

The arboretum is home to many animals- birds, snakes, mammals, frogs and more! This week, we will explore the 300+ acres in search of local animals and try to get up close to the amazing creatures.

What’s in the Water?
Splash into this week and explore the wonders of our wetlands and ponds. Learn what threatens our water and learn ways to save it. Spend time collecting samples, fishing and playing water games.

Wild Wonders, Big and Small

The unique ecosystems at the arboretum allow for a huge variety of plants and animals. These living wonders work together to create the landscape that we will enjoy exploring.

Growing Gardens 

What do plants need to grow and thrive? Learn to grow your own food and dig in to your very own gardens while learning how to keep the plants healthy all year long.

Nature’s Inspiration 

Let nature fire up your senses! Explore the colors, textures and sounds of nature and create your own masterpieces to take home.

Wilderness Survival 

Do you know how find shelter, food and water? This week will explore the survival techniques of animals and how we can do that, too.

Following is a listing of other Gabis programming.

First Saturday Hike 

May 5 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. 

A naturalist will guide visitors through the arboretum and focus on seasonal changes and interests. The month of May offers blooming plants throughout the arboretum.


May 16 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. 

Bring your toddler every third Wednesday of the month and join a naturalist at the arboretum. Spend time exploring nature and creating a take home project. Each week features a story and hands on activity.

Introduction to the Tallgrass Prairie

May 17 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. 

Discover the intriguing history and people who are part of the story of the Midwestern tallgrass prairie. Then, explore the arboretum’s signature grasses and wildflowers and hear about their uses by Native Americans and early settlers during this blended hike outdoors through the tallgrass and lecture indoors.

Fairy Gardening 

May 19 from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. 

Bring the magic of fairies home by creating your own miniature garden.  This class will help you plan out your garden and teach you how to care for the plants. Register for this class by May 12. There are fees.

Family Fishing Day 

May 26 from 8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. 

Bring the whole family to enjoy a morning of catch and release fishing at the North Pond. Don’t have fishing gear? A naturalist will have a few extra poles and bait for those who are fishing for the first time! This event is free with admission and does not require a fishing license.

Sound Walk with The Wellness Center 

May 26 from 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. 

Taltree Arboretum & Gardens, 450 West 100 North
Valparaiso, IN 46385 United States

Join The Wellness Center at Gabis Arboretum for a Sound Walk with Dr. Sam Kester and Dr. Jane Bradlaw. A Sound Walk focuses on listening to and reflecting on the natural environment. “By listening to natural silence, we feel connected to the land, to our evolutionary past, and to ourselves

Date Knight 

May 26 from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. 

This medieval-themed evening encourages young princes to dress in their knightly best, as a beastly dragon or a superhero. A princess and prince will be present. Light appetizers will be served. Advance ticket purchase is required. There are fees.

June 2018

Summer Yoga 

June 2 from 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Summer bring warms weather and yoga classes on Saturdays beginning June 2! Sessions will take place at both the arboretum’s new shelter, the Celebration Rose Pavilion, and the sidetrack stage.

To learn more about these programs, visit www.w,taltree.org.

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