This addition of Capital Conversations takes us to The Viles Arboretum on RT 26 in Augusta. A unique place that describes itself as "Promoting the knowledge, appreciation and conservation of Maine's trees and our natural world for people of all ages by offering opportunities for education, recreation, and inspiration."

 

The Viles Arboretum is an amazing gem right here in Augusta. Its huge at 224 acres with a botanical garden and arboretum, with 5 miles of trails, open year round without charge. The plant collection contains over 300 species or varieties of trees and shrubs

Viles Arboretum's Art Trail creates a bridge to our botanical collections and natural environs through art. Explore featured artists as you walk along the walking trails. It's primary goal is to introduce visitors to the interplay between art and nature, enhance the educational experience, and create a public space for inspiration.

Most of the pieces are for sale, as noted on the signs located at each sculpture.  Ten percent of the sale price is retained by and supports the work of the Arboretum.

Viles Arboretum is also proud to host a Somali based group of farmers who bridge the gap between Mainers and new Mainers alike, providing fresh, organic and reasonably priced produce. In addition, they serve up some added flair by serving a homemade lunch of the Somali delicacy, sambusas, a mildly spiced meat and veggie dish browned up in a flour pocket.

The grounds of the Viles Arboretum are open dawn to dusk, seven days a week.

Check it out. You won't be disappointed!