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Hampden Elementary Arbor Day Celebration in the Park

Updated: Jun 5, 2023

by Lissa Rotundo

Photos courtesy Milana Braslavsky

Friday, April 28, was Arbor Day. Fortunately, given the day-long deluge that occurred that day, the Hampden Elementary field trip to Wyman Park in celebration of Arbor Day occurred on Thursday. Hosted by the Friends of Stony Run, it was organized by James Wolf in cooperation with the Baltimore Department of Recreation and Parks. James, President of Friends of Stony Run and father of Henry, a kindergartener at the school, sought to use this event to forge a connection between the school and the park. If the teachers are more familiar with the neighboring park, he figured, they will be more likely to integrate the park into their lessons.

Students Pre-K through Grade Two participated in Thursday’s program, accompanied by their teachers and parent chaperones. They rotated through various activities during their time in the park. One was the planting of six young oak trees which will grow among the existing hundred-year-old trees that were planted when our neighborhood was just beginning. There was a hike on the Stony Run trail and around the ponds in the lower park; a creativity station at which the children had the opportunity to make ephemeral art with objects found from nature; and free play on the plateau, fueled by fresh fruit, compliments of MOMs Market.

There was a meditation in the woods, led by Ted Martello of the Baltimore Forestry Department. Ted succeeded in quieting each group of children, having them learn to pay attention to the smell of the earth, the sound of the stream as it flowed over the rocks in the streambed, the textures of the leaves on the forest floor, the taste of the blossoms of the white locust tree.

The youngest children broadcast handfuls of wildflower seeds onto unmown sections of the park. Perhaps we’ll see some results this summer. All that rain the next day couldn’t have hurt! Judging by the children’s comments, their day in the park was a great success. Thanks to James for organizing it.

This article originally appeared in the Wyman Park Community Association May 2023 issue. Reprinted with permission.

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