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Who We Are
The Croton Arboretum and Sanctuary, Inc. is a volunteer, non-profit organization that provides environmental stewardship for 20+ acres of wetlands and woods at the Jane E. Lytle Arboretum in Croton-on-Hudson, New York.
Support Us

Help support the mission of the Croton Arboretum by becoming a member. We need your support!

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We are closed today

The village is closing all parks today, including the Arboretum, due to the hurricane. For your safety, please do not walk in.


A mitzvah for the Arboretum

A group of 11 and 12 year old kids recently spent a morning volunteering at the Croton Arboretum. Organized by Lori Cohen of Havurah on Hudson, the group spread much-needed fresh mulch on the trails and learned about the Arboretum on a hike with Arboretum President Karen Jescavage-Bernard. The mission of Havurah on Hudson is to encourage and facilitate Jewish learning and Jewish identity of children of Havurah family members.

Barry Keegan Returns

Native American crafts expert Barry Keegan will demonstrate firemaking, flint knapping and other skills to recreate the daily life of the Leni Lenape people, who lived in the Croton area at the time of Henry Hudson’s voyage. He will also display his collection of Native American and colonial artifacts along with authentic replicas of bows, arrows, axes, buckskin, fire-making tools and pottery. Rain or shine on Saturday, October 20, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Here's a wonderful short film about Barry's 2011 visit, made by Arboretum board member Ken Sargeant.


Forest Bathing

Bamboo forest, Arashiyama, Kyoto, Japan
We were inspired to investigate Japanese research on forest bathing therapy after getting a call from an Arboretum visitor whose parent’s anxiety and anger markedly decrease after their walks in the Arboretum. 
While “everybody knows” that a walk in the woods decreases stress, American medicine has been slow to actually measure the benefits. Starting in 1982, however, Japanese doctors have prescribed "Shinrin-yoku" (forest bathing) to decrease the risk and impacts of psychosocial stress-related diseases, including the anxiety, depression and anger associated with dementia and Alzheimers. 
Recent experiments studied the effects of forest bathing on immune system function. The most exciting result to emerge from these studies are that walks in the woods increase both the number and activity of natural killer (NK) cells, a component of the immune system that fights cancer. In one experiment, subjects took three two-hour walks over two days and stayed overnight in a hotel in the forest. As a control, blood tests were taken before the trip on a normal workday. The same tests were repeated after the second and third walks, and then weekly for several months. Elevated NK levels persisted for up to 30 days after the experiment. Follow up studies showed a significant increase in NK activity – which persisted for seven days after a day trip to the forest.
While these experiments were small scale, the study director attributes the improvement in immune activity to breathing air containing phytoncides (wood essential oils), which are antimicrobial organic compounds emitted by trees to protect themselves from insects and rot.
While more research proceeds, these early results point to the possibility that regular walks in the woods are part of a healthy lifestyle that helps us stave off cancer and mitigate the ravages of dementia and Alzheimers.
The Arboretum’s directors are committed to replant the enormous number of trees lost and damaged during the storms of 2011, not only to restore the preserve but as an investment in the health of the human community.

Treeline is Online

The Fall 2012 issue of Treeline has been mailed to all members and can be read online here. If you're not a member, please support the Arboretum and become a member today.