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Spotted at the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center

Trevor Schneider
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Buzz photographer Dylan Aguilar teamed up with summer interns Sophia Wayne and Trevor Schneider to chat with Buzz residents and take these photos.

Valerie Sheppard, Jacob Funk-Sheppard, Tobey Funk-Sheppard

Valerie Sheppard with her grandsons Jacob Funk-Sheppard and Tobey Funk-Sheppard under the shade at the Houston Arboretum. (Photo: Sophia Wayne) 

Every day, people flock from around the Houston area to the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center. They check out the wildlife, walk their pets and take in a slice of nature. In addition to offering a number of summer opportunities for young campers and their parents alike, the Arboretum provides a relaxing, scenic locale for a brief natural getaway.

Valerie Sheppard chose to spend the morning in the park with her two grandchildren, Jacob and Tobey Funk-Sheppard. Though she noted the day’s rather warm forecast, Ms. Sheppard found some relief in the area’s lush tree covering. Many visitors found this natural greenery serene and relaxing; Sara Lopes chose the Arboretum as the spot for her morning meditation, while Carlos Perez and Carmen Lopez enjoyed resting by the pond and watching turtles swim by.

Schumaker family

Heather and Josh Schumaker with their daughter Deziray and son Mateo. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

This summer, the Arboretum is home to tons of events and summertime classes, including this week’s “Fun in the Sun” camp and last week’s educational forestry classes known as Forest Rangers. According to naturalist Justin Clay, the park, which he says is “meant for nature” and exists as one of the city’s few “sanctuaries” and “natural spaces,” is currently undergoing some post-Hurricane Ike renovation and beautification.

Kathy Griffith and her son Sawyer, an excited attendant of the aforementioned “Fun in the Sun” camp, were eager to check out a new playground. Sawyer recounted his action-packed day at camp, showing off a homemade sun-detecting bracelet and expressing his enthusiasm for “scooping up tadpoles in the pond” and watching squirrels play in the trees.

Carlos Perez

Carlos Perez watches the turtles swim under the water lilies at the Meadow Pond. (Photo: Sophia Wayne) 

Not everyone spending their morning at the Arboretum was a longtime Houstonian. Seattle natives Ben and Michelle Adler were enjoying a stroll through the park during their first week as Houstonians while Josh, Heather, Mateo and Deziray Schumaker took in the greenery while on vacation from Arizona.

Arboretum visitors are from all around the city - and beyond - but each comes to the area with a common goal: to take in nature. We live in a wonderful city of innovation and business, but it’s healthy and enjoyable to sometimes take a quick break from the hustle and bustle of Houston.

  • Michelle and Ben Adler

    Michelle and Ben Adler, who were visiting the Houston Arboretum for the first time.

  • Deshanta Anthony

    Deshanta Anthony sitting on a bench by the pond at the Houston Arboretum. 

  • Trails

    Ashlee with her son Tobias and daughter Aida along the trails at the Houston Arboretum. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

  • Kyna Byrd, Brian Bourassa

    Kyna Byrd with her friend Brian Bourassa and dog Levi, a pointer mix. (Photo: Sophia Wayne) 

  • Diego

    Diego, a rescue dog who lives in River Oaks. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

  • Carlos Perez and Carmen Lopez

    Carlos Perez and Carmen Lopez in front of the pond at the Houston Arboretum. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

  • Trichia Zeuner and Lynn Loosier

    Trichia Zeuner and Lynn Loosier “taking in nature” with Jay, a lab sharpe. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

  • Sara Lopes

    Sara Lopes carries a mat for meditating at the Houston Arboretum. (Photo: Sophia Wayne) 

  • Damion Torres with Kaleilah Watson

    Damion Torres with Kaleilah Watson on the observation deck at the Houston Arboretum. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

  • Brianna Collard, Louis Villalobos

    Brianna Collard with Louis Villalobos enjoying the first trail on the trails at the Houston Arboretum. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

  • Irma and David Alvarado

    Irma Alvarado strolling along the trails with her son David. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

  • Melissa Griffith, Sawyer Griffith

    Melissa Griffith with her son Sawyer behind the visitor center at the Houston Arboretum. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar)  

  • DiPuma family

    Katy DiPuma with children Ronan, Vincenzo and Fiona inside the Nature Center at the Houston Arboretum. 

  • Pepper

    Pepper, who lives in Memorial, enjoying the day at the Arboteum.

  • Diego

    Diego, a rescue dog who lives in River Oaks. (Photo: Sophia Wayne)  

  • Meadow Pond

    Aside from being one of the most scenic spots at the Arboretum, the Meadow Pond is home to many turtles and tadpoles. (Photo: Sophia Wayne)

  • Meadow Pond

    The Meadow Pond is home to many turtles and tadpoles. (Photo: Sophia Wayne) 

  • Carlos Perez

    Carlos Perez watches the turtles swim under the water lilies at the Meadow Pond. (Photo: Sophia Wayne) 

  • David Alvarado

    David Alvarado sits in his stroller while his mother Irma Alvarado takes him on a hike through the Houston Arboretum. (Photo: Sophia Wayne) 

  • Michelle and Ben Adler
  • Deshanta Anthony
  • Trails
  • Kyna Byrd, Brian Bourassa
  • Diego
  • Carlos Perez and Carmen Lopez
  • Trichia Zeuner and Lynn Loosier
  • Sara Lopes
  • Damion Torres with Kaleilah Watson
  • Brianna Collard, Louis Villalobos
  • Irma and David Alvarado
  • Melissa Griffith, Sawyer Griffith
  • DiPuma family
  • Pepper
  • Diego
  • Meadow Pond
  • Meadow Pond
  • Carlos Perez
  • David Alvarado

More photos

Michelle and Ben Adler

Michelle and Ben Adler, who were visiting the Houston Arboretum for the first time.

Deshanta Anthony

Deshanta Anthony sitting on a bench by the pond at the Houston Arboretum. 

Trails

Ashlee with her son Tobias and daughter Aida along the trails at the Houston Arboretum. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

Kyna Byrd, Brian Bourassa

Kyna Byrd with her friend Brian Bourassa and dog Levi, a pointer mix. (Photo: Sophia Wayne) 

Diego

Diego, a rescue dog who lives in River Oaks. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

Carlos Perez and Carmen Lopez

Carlos Perez and Carmen Lopez in front of the pond at the Houston Arboretum. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

Trichia Zeuner and Lynn Loosier

Trichia Zeuner and Lynn Loosier “taking in nature” with Jay, a lab sharpe. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

Sara Lopes

Sara Lopes carries a mat for meditating at the Houston Arboretum. (Photo: Sophia Wayne) 

Damion Torres with Kaleilah Watson

Damion Torres with Kaleilah Watson on the observation deck at the Houston Arboretum. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

Brianna Collard, Louis Villalobos

Brianna Collard with Louis Villalobos enjoying the first trail on the trails at the Houston Arboretum. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

Irma and David Alvarado

Irma Alvarado strolling along the trails with her son David. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

Melissa Griffith, Sawyer Griffith

Melissa Griffith with her son Sawyer behind the visitor center at the Houston Arboretum. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar)  

DiPuma family

Katy DiPuma with children Ronan, Vincenzo and Fiona inside the Nature Center at the Houston Arboretum. 

Pepper

Pepper, who lives in Memorial, enjoying the day at the Arboteum.

Diego

Diego, a rescue dog who lives in River Oaks. (Photo: Sophia Wayne)  

Meadow Pond

Aside from being one of the most scenic spots at the Arboretum, the Meadow Pond is home to many turtles and tadpoles. (Photo: Sophia Wayne)

Meadow Pond

The Meadow Pond is home to many turtles and tadpoles. (Photo: Sophia Wayne) 

Carlos Perez

Carlos Perez watches the turtles swim under the water lilies at the Meadow Pond. (Photo: Sophia Wayne) 

David Alvarado

David Alvarado sits in his stroller while his mother Irma Alvarado takes him on a hike through the Houston Arboretum. (Photo: Sophia Wayne) 

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