Longwood Gardens opens new meadow section

Courtesy photo A wide ramp leads visitors to the pleasures of the new Longwood Meadow Garden.

Have you been to the new section of Longwood Gardens yet? It opened just a few weeks ago and itís fantastic. It is so peaceful to walk on the hiking and walking trails. They have so many miles of paths (and not even just including the Meadows) that it really makes a membership worthwhile. I love taking a Saturday or Sunday morning walk over there. I use the Charity Miles app to measure my walking distance and then also my favorite charity gets paid per mile that I walk. Walking two or three miles over there is so much more enjoyable than in my own neighborhood and I donít have to dodge traffic.

The Longwood Gardens website has everything you need to know about the trails and visiting the new Meadow Gardens. They are offering some guided hikes as well, which highlight different topics for different interests:

Food for Thought Meadow Hike - Who eats who in the meadow? Plants are a foundation in the food chain. Discover the connections between plants, insects, animals and people. Friday, Aug. 22, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

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Meadow Highlights Walk - This fully accessible walk along our Meadow Boardwalk will introduce you to our beautiful Meadow Garden. Every Saturday, June 21 to Oct. 25, 10:30 to 11 a.m.

Meadow Wildflower Hike - Join our wildflower experts and discover whatís in bloom in our Meadow Garden on this longer hike into the Meadow. Saturday, August 16, 11 a.m.to noon.

Meadow Bird Hike - Take this introductory bird hike to Hawk Point, up to the Webb House and back, looking for birds of the Meadow. At the Webb Farmhouse explore our Meadow Gallery and amazingly realistic bird sculptures. Friday, Aug. 15, 10 to 11 a.m. and Friday, Aug. 15, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Meadow Ecology Hike - Join our land steward on a hike to learn more about this amazing ecosystem and how we care for it. Tuesday, Aug. 26, 1 to 2 p.m.

Meadow Pollinator Hike - Join our search for insects and pollinators buzzing and flying around the Meadow Garden. Friday, Aug. 8, 10 to 11 a.m. am.

Twilight Creature Hike - Join our search for whatís flying, rustling, creeping and crawling as the sun is setting. Friday, Aug. 8, 7:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Have you ever watched that show on 6 ABC called ďFYIPhillyĒ? I watch it all the time to learn about fun things to do in the city, and they frequently talk about Longwood Gardens. Longwood grows some food products too. Did you know that? Some are used in their restaurant and some are sold to local businesses, such as some flavoring for ice cream. I thought that was pretty cool, and it really piques my interest to want to attend this event:

Meadow Harvest Dinner, Oct. 3 - Relish this gourmet dinner that brings together the delicious flavors of autumn and the vibrant fall palette of our new Meadow Garden. See website for more details.

Lastly, they have two more Meadow Days coming up. What are Meadow Days? Meadow Days offer more opportunities for fun and exploration. Experts will be on hand to answer questions and share the story of the Meadow Gardenís flora and fauna as you explore our walking trails, embark on a nature seek-and-find for kids, and more. Sept. 20, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Oct. 11, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Anyway, in wrapping upÖ.if you want to spend some quality time outdoors, donít forget that we have a world-class venue right in our backyard! I know many locals who take it for granted and say ďGeez, I havenít been there in 10 years!Ē Hopefully Iíve given you a few more reasons to go visit. Have a great week!

Outdoor enthusiast Lisa Lightner lives in Avondale.