Special “Macgyver” Volunteer Corps Expands – Seeks More Teens
Fun Opportunity In The Morton Arboretum Children’s Garden To Be Explained in Orientation Session
LISLE, IL (March 28, 2007) – The first season was a rousing success, so now, the “Macgyvers” program is expanding and looking for more dedicated teens. The Morton Arboretum Children’s Garden Youth Volunteer program, called Macgyvers, has teen volunteers helping younger kids to flourish – teaching them to connect with nature through fun and educational activities.
Youth entering grades 6-9 in the fall can become Macgyvers this summer by attending an orientation session with an adult guardian from 6:45 to 8:45 p.m. on Tuesday, April 17 in the Visitor Center Special Events Room.
In 2007, the Macgyvers program expands with new activities to teach visitors about nature. Gardening Macgyvers will plant, maintain, and harvest three growing gardens: the “Lunchbox Garden,” the “Giant’s Garden” and the “Toddler Garden,” all within the Children’s Garden. Macgyvers will explain gardening and plant basics, and help guests practice some garden skills, understand fun garden themes, and even sample vegetables harvested from the garden.
In 2006, Macgyvers engaged youngsters in activities that showed them fascinating things in the natural world around them, including matching a bird to its song, examining animal skulls, and releasing live praying mantis babies into the garden. Macgyvers will offer these activities again this year, in addition to the new gardening activities.
“I was surprised how the (young) kids got involved in what we were doing,” said Haley Nichol, 13, of Addison, a Macgyver last year. “It was great to see the kids learn, and it was a learning experience for me. The big surprise was when parents got involved in learning with their kids.”
Nichol, a student at Indian Trail Junior High, has already decided to continue with the Macgyvers program this year, and is excited about participating in the gardening program this summer.
“Last year, my school friends thought it was weird and geeky that I would be working in nature,” she said. “It’s really kind of sad how many kids disrespect and don’t understand nature, but it’s been a real escape (for me) coming here and getting into nature.”
The Morton Arboretum is an internationally recognized 1,700-acre outdoor museum with collections of more than 4,000 kinds of trees, shrubs, and other plants from around the world. The Arboretum's beautiful natural landscapes, gardens, research and education programs, and year-round family activities support its mission – the planting and conservation of trees and other plants for a greener, healthier, and more beautiful world. Conveniently located at I-88 and Rte. 53 in Lisle, Illinois, the Arboretum is open 7 days a week, 365 days a year, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. or sunset, whichever is earlier, Central Time. The Children's Garden is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (CDT) and 9:30 to 4 p.m. (CST). Visit www.mortonarb.org or call 630-968-0074 to learn more.