Wildlife Encounters at Viles Arboretum: A Visitor's Guide to Safe and Respectful Observation

Spanning 224 acres, Viles Arboretum offers a rich habitat for diverse wildlife, making it likely you'll encounter some of these creatures during your visit. To ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for both you and the animals, here are some guidelines on what to do when you come across wildlife.

Building Homes in the Sky: Viles Arboretum and MDIFW Join Forces for Purple Martins

Viles Arboretum is excited to be partnering with the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife on a Purple Martin conservation project. Starting May 25th, MDIFW will begin the installation of a nesting structure for Purple Martins in one of the fields on the back of the Arboretum property. This will be an important step for Purple Martin conservation efforts in the State of Maine. 

Observe Nature Up Close: Cecropia Moth Cocoons at Viles Arboretum

Cecropia moth's (Hyalophora cecropia) is the largest native moth in North America, with a wingspan of five to seven inches. These beautiful silk moths have reddish bodies with black/brown wings that are adorned with bands of white, red, and tan. 

Guardians of the Hemlock Trees: Red-Backed Salamanders

The Red-backed salamander can be found in forest habitats throughout Maine. Ranging from 2.5 to 5 inches in length, they are commonly found under leaf litter, rocks, and decaying logs. These amphibians are an indicator species, a living organism that can offer insight into an ecosystems overall health. Their presence, absence, or rapid decline provide important information about the quality of an environment.

Spring Market at Viles Arobretum

As spring's gentle embrace breathes new life into the world, what better way to celebrate the season of renewal than by immersing yourself in the vibrant tapestry of nature and art? Nestled in the heart of Augusta, Maine, Viles Arboretum invites you to its annual Spring Market, a delightful convergence of local vendors, artisans, and botanical wonders. 

Honoring Women in Conservation: Celebrating Their Impact for Women's History Month

As we celebrate Women's History Month, it's essential to recognize and honor the remarkable contributions of women in various fields. One such area where women have made profound and lasting impacts is conservation. From pioneering research to grassroots activism, women have been at the forefront of efforts to protect our planet's precious ecosystems and wildlife.

American Chestnut Pre-Order is Live!

We're thrilled to announce that once again, in 2024, we'll be offering American Chestnut seedlings. Teaming up with the Maine Chapter of the American Chestnut Foundation, we're delighted to provide access to these remarkable trees. 

February is Browntail Awareness Month

February 2, 2024 - Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry: Browntail Moth (BTM) caterpillars have been an ongoing nuisance in Maine; causing tree defoliation and rashes in humans. Reduce your chances of encountering this pest on your property by learning how to recognize and remove their winter webs from your trees during February, Browntail Moth Awareness month.

Browntail Caterpillars: Winter Webs & What to do

From the Maine Department of Agriculture Conservation & Forestry, Maine Forest Service: Young browntail caterpillars create their winter webs in the summer and early fall by combining leaves together with white silk. During the winter, browntail caterpillars are dormant and rest inside their webs where they are protected from the harsh weather. These webs are usually at the tips of branches of their favorite host trees: oak, fruit trees (including ornamental varieties), black cherry, elm, birch, shadbush, roses, and others.

Viles Arboretum Announces Leadership Transition

Viles Arboretum, a renowned hub for outdoor recreation and learning in Augusta, today announces a significant change in its executive leadership. Ryan Martin, who has served as the Executive Director since June 2020, will step down from his position effective January 1. Aleta McKeage, an environmental scientist with a history of collaboration with the Arboretum, will take over as the Interim Executive Director.