Sunday, October 19, 2008

Reinventing the News: Fall Behind

Click to view a gallery of the Arboretum

New England's autumns have inspired countless artists and writers for their majestic beauty and rich colors. Robert Frost devoted an entire collection of poems to the season, so it's no surprise this time of year has locals taking part in regional traditions. Along with drinking apple cider and going apple picking, many Bostonites make a point to watch the leaves change at the Arnold Arboretum.

The arboretum, located in Jamaica Plain, has hundreds of different trees in its collection. Designed by landscaper Frederick Olmsted, most famous for New York's Central Park, the arboretum has 15,441 individual plants belonging to 4,099 families in its collection. The arboretum is privately endowed as a department of Harvard University, but the City of Boston maintains responsibility for water fountains, boundaries and policing.

"I grew up in Florida around palm trees, so it's really beautiful for me to see the leaves change," says 22-year-old Joan Dubinski. "I've heard a lot of people talk about the arboretum and how beautiful it is, but this is my first time here." She added, "Even though we're all cold, going to the arboretum and drinking a hot drink seems like the perfect way to spend a lazy Sunday."

Cassandra Nicholson has spent a lot of time in the arboretum over the years. "I live in JP [Jamaica Plain], so I like to pretend like the arboretum is just my front yard. I've been coming every fall since I moved here four years ago."

Mid-October is the best time to see the foliage in the park, so don't miss your opportunity to take part in a Boston tradition. The Arnold Arboretum is located off the Forest Hills stop off the Orange Line and open everyday from sunrise to sunset.

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