OP20 Introducing Arboretum Reads - The Forest Unseen: A Year's Watch in Nature

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Thursday May 14

3:00 PM  –  4:00 PM

Introducing Arboretum Reads - The Forest Unseen: A Year's Watch in Nature 

Instructor: Rebecca Caldwell

Thursday, May 14; 3 - 4 p.m.

Free; Suggested Donation $15 


Join Adult Education Programs Manager Rebecca Caldwell in this introduction to the Arboretum Reads selection for spring and summer. Let's read together in community The Forest Unseen: A Year's Watch in Nature by biologist and award-winning writer David George Haskell. At this moment, when we’ve been staying safe at home and seeing our surroundings through new eyes, we can learn a great deal from Haskell’s contemplative return to one square-meter patch of old-growth forest in Tennessee almost every day for a year. Haskell traces nature's path through the seasons and brings the forest and its inhabitants to vivid life, explaining the science and describing the ecosystems that have cycled for thousands -- sometimes millions -- of years. 

Arboretum volunteers will lead a series of discussion groups in Zoom-based meetings starting in May and continuing through June. Access to supplemental materials will be available online for reading alone and together. Everyone participating will have opportunities to join in large online gatherings for talks by Adult Education faculty and guest speakers on Zoom and Facebook Live. Arboretum Reads culminates in June with a special event featuring the author himself. 

The first Arboretum Reads selection, read in community in spring last year, was The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative by Florence Williams. Readers who participated in last year’s program had this to say about the experience: “The Nature Fix helped me open my eyes to these wonders around us. We all need to slow down and take in the beauty of our surroundings. I also learned ways to manage stress and anxiety more effectively. My walks now aren’t just about seeing but about truly ‘taking in’ the experience in a more mindful and meditative way.” 

PS—In these difficult times, we are working to support not only our wider community online but our local community as well. If you plan to purchase a copy of the book, consider ordering online from our wonderful Western North Carolina independent bookstores Malaprop's or City Lights Bookstore in Sylva.  Biblio.com, based in Asheville, helps connect readers with used, rare and out-of-print books from independent booksellers the worldover. Like all independent bookstores, now more than ever, they need our support. While some have begun reopening in a limited way, they've been hurt by closure and furloughing or losing knowledgeable bookselling staff due to this pandemic, but they are still processing online orders for direct mail or shipping, curbside pickup or even home delivery.  

For the audiobook, both Malaprop's and City Lights partner with Libro.fm.

Instructions for joining via Zoom will be included in your confirmation email following registration.


Rebecca Caldwell is a writer and educator who serves as the adult education programs manager at The North Carolina Arboretum. She has taught literature and writing at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, Clemson University and Western Carolina University. She is also trained as a counselor specializing in expressive arts and ecopsychology. While working in Student Affairs at Western Carolina University, she started the Women’s Center, a resource, advising and advocacy center open to all students. Her doctoral coursework and research at the University of Virginia focused on creativity, intrinsic motivation and the adult learner.


This class is free with the option to include a suggested donation appearing in your cart at check out. Your generous contribution goes to support education programs at the Arboretum.

To become an Arboretum Member and receive discounts on all future classes, go to our Membership page.