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MIT blogger Ankita D. '23

I went to the Arnold Arboretum!!! by Ankita D. '23

i become one with nature

On Friday, I went to the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University for the first time! Established in 1872, it’s the oldest public arboretum in North America, and is home to over 1.3 million trees, shrubs, and woody vines. It was designed in collaboration with Frederick Law Olmsted, whose other works include Central Park and the U.S. Capitol!! The quizbowl geek in me was hyped to hear that.

The arboretum is a good ~5 miles away, so students usually get there by the T, Uber, or even bike. Thankfully, the people I went there with had a car, so the commute was very doable.

arboretum map

the red marker is MIT and the circled green expanse is the arboretum

We spent a couple of blissful hours there. The area is HUGE—281 acres, to be precise—but there are paths and maps, so you can explore with some semblance of order if you’d like. My friends and I mostly wandered through random areas, though.


arboretum path

Things started going downhill when my pollen allergies kicked in; I’m allergic to pretty much every type of tree you can think of, so being surrounded by a whole lot of trees was not good for me. I sneezed upwards of 50 times and had to sit down because of my watery eyes and nose numerous times. The experience was still worth it, though!

weeping norway spruce

a weeping norway spruce. it’s so cool-looking! also yes there is a person inside it



Being in the middle of nature was SO peaceful and relaxing. I’ve never seen myself as the “frolicking in nature” type (due to my allergies, for the most part), but the arboretum was a wonderful escape from everything.

lots of trees


so peaceful

I’m really thankful that the arboretum is still open even in this social-distancing period. It was so lovely!!! I’ve already made plans to go again…with allergy meds this time around, of course.

lots of vinesss

lots of vinesss



10/10 amazing place to spend a day. Go picnic with your friends, or wander around checking out all the cool types of plants, or meditate in the middle of all the greenery! Your mental health will thank you :)