For the 7th year, the Pine Hollow Arboretum is providing an exciting opportunity for area students to connect with nature in a meaningful way. The goals of the program are to increase overall environmental literacy and stewardship, to foster an appreciation for biodiversity and to provide a venue for collaboration across socioeconomic and cultural barriers serving as a step towards community connectivity in the Capital District.

This year’s program is entitled “Experiential Biodiversity Studies for Capital Region Students” and is funded by The Bender Scientific Fund of The Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region. Elementary students from Thomas O’Brien Academy of Science and Technology (TOAST), Arbor Hill Elementary and Sheridan Preparatory Academy in Albany, Voorheesville Elementary and the Bethlehem Children’s School, are participating in this year.

The program consists of in-class environmental science lessons, which introduce students to concepts such as biodiversity, interrelationships and climate change. Following the in-class lessons, students enjoy a field trip to the Pine Hollow Arboretum for hands-on experiential learning that supports learning standards of the NYS curriculum.

A grant from Stewart’s Shops Holiday Match program has funded a portion of the program that provides environmental educator training to high school students enrolled at the Bethlehem Central High School. The 45 BCHS involved in this year’s program attend more than 10 hours of training with seasoned environmental educator and author, Anita Sanchez. Ms. Sanchez instructs the students in environmental science, field techniques, data collection and elementary education methodology. At the culmination of their training, the high school students then lead the field trips of elementary students, providing a wonderful peer-led experience for the younger students.

Honest Weight Food Co-op has also partnered with the Arboretum to provide a healthy snack for all 500+ students coming to the Arboretum this spring on field trips.


About The Pine Hollow Arboretum: The Pine Hollow Arboretum is a 25-acre member supported, public arboretum whose mission is to preserve, manage and enhance native and introduced species of trees, shrubs and other plants in a natural environment. The integrity and viability of the natural landscape is preserved through ecologically conscious management practices. Such practices provide a fertile and encouraging habitat for the horticultural collection while also supporting an extensive network of forest dependent organisms. The Arboretum provides a diverse, multi-generational audience with an opportunity to learn and appreciate ornamental horticulture and the environment through its extensive collection of the world’s most captivating tree and shrub species.