Recently, I had the opportunity to visit The Holden Arboretum in Kirtland, Ohio and for those of you who have stuck around long enough reading my blog, you may have realized how much I love nature. In case you’re new, just for reference I ordered sequoia tree seeds to grow my own Giant Redwood tree if that helps place my love of nature for you.
In a time when it seems humans and nature have some trouble getting along, think of the polar bears, visiting the Holden Arboretum was a testament to how well humans and nature can get along together and the amazing things they can create as a part of that relationship.
The Holden Arboretum was founded in 1931 when it originally occupied 100 acres but now occupies 3,500 and when it joined with The Cleveland Botanical Gardens created the 13th largest public garden in the United States.
The entirety of the arboretum’s grounds is covered in beautiful landscape both human and nature made. The best part is that it is so large that its fairly easy to get lost, though with walkways throughout it’s not the kind of lost you can achieve in a national park.
The two amazing features at the arboretum though are the Emergent Tower and the Canopy Walk. By far I think it is these two experiences that really allow you to see the symbiotic relationship of humans and nature.
The Emergent Tower allows you to climb 120 feet above the ground and get a glimpse of what it could be like to be a bird. The view is spectacular, not only to see all the tree tops for miles but to even view Lake Erie some 10 miles away!
The Canopy Walk is just as exciting an experience as you walk across 500 feet of canvas walkway 65 feet above the ground. Just as the Emergent Tower gave you a taste of a bird’s view, the Canopy Walk allowed you to view the forest from the eyes of a furry woodland creature. Though the challenge of this experience is the walkways do move and if you have the fortunate opportunity to have a child nearby that likes to jump on the walkway, you can imagine yourself in an Indiana Jones movie trying to make it across a drawstring bridge before it collapses.
Just like every good adventure you need a good partner and it certainly helps when that partner is totally willing to push you overboard because what adventure across a suspended drawstring bridge is complete with the possibility of going over! (PS: I don’t think she’d actually push me over, she just likes to keep me on my toes) It’s also nice when they don’t mind getting lost either, though that’s on me for thinking I could read a map.
In truth though, beyond the initial natural beauty the Holden Arboretum holds and its ability to show the harmony in which humans and nature exist, I took away another unexpected bond between humans and nature, well specifically trees.
Trees like humans can be beautiful on their own and do amazing things but when joined with others they can create a much more beautiful, beneficial, and harmonious environment. So maybe let’s learn from our natural friends and do two things: first off, enjoy nature and second, keep up the symbiotic relationship so we can continue to live together with benefits for all.