(Phoenix, AZ - May 6, 2009) - The Australian Interpretive Pavilion at Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park has been enhanced and is now open to the public. The new exhibit showcases "the land down under" by featuring new interactive displays in addition to the existing 340 species of Australian plants.
New features include an interactive display of Aboriginal Australians' ceremonial instruments, and a display of their food-gathering tools. The interpretive signage has information about how the Aboriginal Australians collect food and make ceremonial instruments from native materials, their relation to Aboriginal culture, and the importance of the "Dreamtime" in their spiritual life.
Aboriginal people believe that in the "Dreamtime" the traditional way of life was established by their spirit ancestors, which often takes the form of an animal like the Rainbow Serpent.
An ethno botanical trail nearby interprets the use of Native Australian plants for food, fiber and medicine.
Arboretum visitors are invited to take a "walkabout" through the Arboretum's Australian Exhibit and enjoy the Eucalyptus Forest, the Pearl Bluebush community, the Drover's Woodshed, and the new Aboriginal Water Seep Exhibit that includes a ceremonial labyrinth, waterfall rock art, and native Australian plants.
Arboretum Summer Hours Coming in May
Beginning May 1, public hours at the Arboretum change to the summer schedule. The Arboretum is open every day in May, June, July and August from 6:00am until 3:00pm.
Photography Class and Tour with Tom Broggan
Professional photographer Tom Broggan will share his passion for nature photography during a class beginning at 8:30am Friday, May 15. He will teach basic photography skills including composition, lighting and exposures. His workshop and tour is limited to 10 students, and pre-payment of $20 for Arboretum members or $27.50 for non-members is required. Phone 520-689-2723 to enroll.
Plants of the Bible Guided Walk
Saturday, May 16 at 8:30am
Scholar David Oberpriller shows plants at the Arboretum that are mentioned in the Bible. Tour is educational, slow-paced and relaxing. Trails are wheelchair accessible. Free with admission.
Trees of the Arboretum Tour
Sunday, May 17 at 8:30am
Special quest Terry Mikel tours visitors through the forested areas of the Arboretum. Learn about the towering sycamore and cottonwood trees, native hackberry, mesquite and more. Free with admission.
Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park is located three miles west of historic Superior on U.S. Highway 60 just a short drive from Arizona's major metropolitan areas. Phone 520-689-2723 or visit http://ag.arizona.edu/bta for more information.
For more information about Arizona State Parks call (602) 542-4174 (outside of the Phoenix metro area call toll-free (800) 285-3703) or visit azstateparks.com.
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