Community Read Events

Together with our community partners, the Community Read features a variety of events from book clubs and discussions, to author visits and film screenings, all related to the year’s theme.

There are so many ways to celebrate the Community Read in our region. Below is a complete calendar listing of events at Longwood Gardens and our Community Read partner organizations. Find an event near you and share your thoughts with our community! Be sure to check back regularly for newly added programs.

March 14 - May 31

Brantwood Park Story Trail, during daylight hours

Free
Presented by: Cecil County Public Library
Location:  Brantwood Regional Park, Williams Rd, Elkton, MD 21921
Families are welcome to visit the Story Trail at Brantwood Regional Park through the end of May to read We Planted a Tree and enjoy fun learning activities along the way. 

April 1 - June 1

Longwood Gardens Community Read Photo Contest

Free
Presented by: Village Library of Morgantown 
Location: Village Library, 207 N. Walnut St, Morgantown, PA 19543
Ages 18+. Calling all nature lovers to submit photos of inspiration regarding trees. Tell us how trees are nature's great connectors, and now trees may help us gain insight to ourselves and our place in this world. If your submission is selected, you will receive a free admission pass to Longwood Gardens! 3 lucky winners will also receive either a copy of the book: The Songs of Trees by David George Haskell or Canopy Career Chronicles by The Morton Arboretum.  How to submit: tag us either on facebook or instagram or email: smolibrary@gmail.com with heading tree photo contest. https://www.facebook.com/VillageLibraryofMorgantown https://www.instagram.com/villagelibrary/?hl=en

April 6 - May 31

Virtual Preschool Storytime: "We All Need Trees", enjoy this pre-recorded storytime at your leisure, beginning April 6

Free
Presented by: Hamburg Public Library
Location: This asynchronous, virtual storytime can be viewed on the Hamburg Public Library's Facebook page
Join our Children's Librarian for a fun-filled virtual preschool storytime all about trees! We'll enjoy a read-aloud of Diane Muldrow's book, We Planted a Tree, which is an upbeat story celebrating the life and hope that trees bring to our planet. Follow-up activities will reinforce learning about trees. No registration required.

April 23 - May 24

Meet the Trees at Bondsville Mill Park, during park hours

Free
Presented by: Bondsville Mill Park
Location: 1647 Bondsville Road, Downingtown, PA 19335
This is a tree scavenger hunt. Maps guide visitors to ten trees in the park. All trees featured are native to Pennsylvania. Information about the trees and their value to the ecosystem is posted at each tree. The scavenger hunt information will continue to be available through May 14, 2022. This can be self-guided so that families can visit at their convenience without the concern of being part of a larger group. Scavenger hunt packets, which include a map to the selected trees, will be available at the kiosk located at the Park’s entrance. Registration is encouraged, but not required. All registered attendees will be entered into a raffle drawing to receive a One Day Pass for 4 to Longwood Gardens. Register here: https://www.bondsvillemillpark.org/program-registration.html. This event is free and open to the public. 

May 1 - May 31

We Planted a Tree - Story Stroll, all day

Free
Presented by: Southampton Free Library
Location: 1225 Second Street Pike, Southampton, PA 18966
Come along and read We Planted a Tree by Diane Muldrow while enjoying a walk outdoors. Walk from page to page and interact with the story at each stop! Our Story Stroll begins on the paved trail opposite the Carriage House and between the Bird Blind and the Farmhouse. It is up year round with the story changing each month! Be sure to sign in to our Guest Book through the ticket link 

Storywalk at Rose Tree Park, 10:00 am - dark (park hours)

Free
Presented by: Delaware County Libraries
Location: Rose Tree Park, 1671 N. Providence Rd., Media, PA 19063
Families can stroll through the park while reading We Planted a Tree that will be posted on our 19 post Storywalk.

May 9 - June 12

StoryWalk® at Exeter Community Library, during daylight hours

Free
Presented by: Exeter Community Library
Location: Exeter Community Library, 4569 Prestwick Dr., Reading, PA 19606
All are welcome to enjoy the StoryWalk® at the Exeter Community Library, while reading the featured story We Planted a Tree by Diane Muldrow and illustrated by Bob Staake. Children are sure to enjoy the fun outdoor learning and activities along the way.  Be sure to stop at the Little Free Library at the end of the trail and pick up a new read!

May 21

Kids' Tree Climbing Program, 10:00 am

General Admission plus $3.00 fee
Presented by: Mt. Cuba Center
Location: 3120 Barley Mill Road, Hockessin, DE 19707
Pull on a harness and get ready to climb! Scale a tree with the help of our arborists and get a birds-eye view of Mt. Cuba Center! Learn what it takes to work with the trees and chat with our expert arborists to discover what they do on the daily! Advance registration is encouraged. Read more about working with trees in Canopy Career Chronicles, and gain a hands on experience!

The Grandeur of Trees Tour, 1:30 pm

General admission plus $3.00
Presented by: Mt. Cuba Center
Location: 3120 Barley Mill Road, Hockessin, DE 19707
Join Mt. Cuba’s arborists as they point out their favorite specimens on this tree-rific tour! Learn about the importance of native trees to our ecosystem and culture. Explore the traits, characteristics and stories that make them special to wildlife and Mt. Cuba Center. This tour can be added on to your general admission ticket for $3. Advance registration is encouraged.

Outdoor Children's Storytime - Let's Talk Trees, 10:00 am

Free
Presented by: Exeter Community Library
Location: Exeter Community Library, 4569 Prestwick Dr.  Reading, PA  19606 
Join Ms. Sarah from Nolde Forest Environmental Educational Center for a storytime celebration of trees.  Families will participate in a hands on exploration of the forest surrounding the library and hear some wonderful stories. All families will receive a take home kit with a craft to enjoy.  The first 40 families that register for the event will also receive an Eastern White Pine sapling to take home and plant.  To register, email: lauracarson05@gmail.com.  

Garden in a Glove, 10:00 am

Free
Presented by: New Cumberland Public Library
Location: 1 Benjamin Plaza, New Cumberland, PA 17070
Create a mini-greenhouse with a plastic glove and watch five different seeds sprout! This activity is part of Longwood Garden's 2022 Community Read of We Planted A Tree. Kids will be able to learn and witness how seeds sprout into plants! Available while supplies last at the Children's Desk starting Saturday, May 21. 

May 22

Longwood Community Read Book Group, 4:00 pm

Free
Presented by: Awbury Arboretum
Location:  The Farm at Awbury Arboretum, 6336 Ardleigh St, Philadelphia, PA 19138.  Please park on Ardleigh St. 
Join us in reading The Songs of Trees: Stories from Nature’s Great Connectors by David George Haskell and for a book discussion led by Megan Do Nascimento on Sunday, May 22nd. Registration is limited to 30 participants and includes a free copy of the book! We’ll be in contact for times to pick up your book at the Cope House in advance of the book discussion.  Scientific, lyrical, and contemplative, The Songs of Trees reveals the biological connections that underpin all life. In a world beset by barriers, Haskell reminds us that life’s substance and beauty emerge from relationship and interdependence. About Megan: Megan Do Nascimento, Awbury Wellness Coordinator and Philadelphia native, is also a natural connector of bringing people to Awbury. Megan grew up in South West Philly steps away from a historical tree called “Buist Sophora” where she played “Mother May I” and hide-and-seek and also steps away from a historical champion white oak tree located in Howell Park in Germantown.

May 23

Tree Talk & Walk @ Kalmbach Park, 6:30 pm

Free
Presented by: Lower Macungie Library
Location: Kalmbach Memorial Park, 200 Cotton St., Macungie, PA 18062
Inspired by the Longwood Gardens Community Read book, The Songs of Trees by David Haskell, Lower Macungie Library is partnering with Kalmbach Memorial Park Administrators Mike and Denise Brosky to offer a guided nature walk through Kalmbach Memorial Park.  Throughout the walk, the Broskys will be identifying the various tree species along with the history of the park.  You don’t want to miss catching a glimpse of the now rare American Chestnut and learn why these trees are almost extinct.  Light refreshments will be provided.  Registration is required.   

May 24

Adult Craft - Flowerpot Paining, 7:00 pm

Free
Presented by: Mullica Hill Branch of Gloucester County Library System
Location: 389 Wolfert Station Road, Mullica Hill, NJ 08062
Paint a terra cotta pot to use in your home garden. Supplies provided. Space is limited and registration is required.

Caring for Native Trees, 7:00 pm

Free
Presented by: Kutztown Community Library
Location: Zoom
Steve Shreiner, CEO of Shreiner's Tree Care and Gretchen Groebel, Executive Director of Radnor Conservancy teach participants about how to plant and care for native trees and how communities can get involved in this important work. Presented via Zoom. Register at https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZArdeyqpjktHNY2w_arGbPZ7Sh29dR-Kr5X  

Community Read Book Chat, 2:00 pm

Free
Presented by: Honeybrook Community Library 
Location: Honey Brook Community Library, 687 Compass Road, Honey Brook, PA 19344
Join us for a discussion of the book The Songs of Trees by David George Haskell, Tuesday, May 24 at 2 pm for a Longwood Gardens Read book chat.  To register call the library at 610-273-3303 or email jspade@ccls.org.

Fairy Gardens, 1:00 pm

Free
Presented by: Henrietta Hankin Branch Library
Location: 215 Windgate Dr, Chester Springs, PA 19425
Bring some magic into your living space with a fairy garden! Fairy gardens incorporate miniature elements like small plants and accessories to create a scaled-down scene or habitat for fairies to visit. Whether you'd like to create a woodland retreat or a desert oasis, the possibilities for gardens are endless! We ask that you bring along a container of your choice (no larger than 12 inches in diameter or width). We will provide the basics: soil, plants, miniature accessories, and hands-on instruction. This program requires specialized materials. A $5 donation is requested to help offset materials costs. Donations can be made at the program. Thank you! For adults ages 18 and up. Registration required. Register at: https://ccls.libcal.com/event/9115092

Native Trees Program, 6:00 pm

Free
Presented by: Penn State Master Gardeners and Bethel-Tulpehocken Public Library 
Free
Presented by: Bethel-Tulpehocken Public Library - 8601 Lancaster Avenue, Bethel, PA 19507
Enjoy an all ages program by the Penn State Master Gardeners as they teach aus all about trees native to our area and give insightful knowledge of trees.  

May 25

StoryWalk® at Boyertown Park, 9:00 am - 6:00 pm

Free
Presented by: Boyertown Community Library 
Location: 417 South Madison St., Boyertown, PA 19512
Our StoryWalk® at Boyertown Park for May is Longwood Gardens Community Read children's book, We Planted a Tree by Diane Muldrow. The book will be set up at Boyertown Park each Wednesday in May from 9am-6pm.

Adult Craft - Flowerpot Paining, 2:00 pm

Free
Presented by: Mullica Hill Branch of Gloucester County Library System
Location: 389 Wolfert Station Road, Mullica Hill, NJ 08062
Paint a terra cotta pot to use in your home garden. Supplies provided. Space is limited and registration is required.

Community Read Story Time, 11:00 am

Free
Presented by: Womelsdorf Community Library
Location: Womelsdorf Community Library, 203 W High St, Womelsdorf, PA 19567
Join us for our Longwood Gardens Community Read Story Time at the Womelsdorf Community Library! We are reading We Planted a Tree by Diane Muldrow and planting some seeds of our own! Have fun learning about trees and the environment at story time this spring! 

May 26

Community Read Story Time, 10:30 am

Free
Presented by: Warminster Township Free Library
Location: Warminster Library, 1076 Emma Lane, Warminster, PA 18974
Miss Katy will read We Planted a Tree on the Warminster Library's front lawn. A simple tree related craft and activity will follow the story time. This program is intended for ages 2-6 but all ages are welcome. Registration is required: register here

May 27

Delaware's Forests: Past, Present, and Future, 2:00 pm

Free and Open to the Public
Presented by: Hockessin Library
Location:  Hockessin Library, 1023 Valley Rd., Hockessin, DE  19707
Would you believe close to one third of Delaware's land mass is currently forested?  Join us and learn more about how forests are an essential part of Delaware's green infrastructure. Please contact Shelley Stein, Adult Services Librarian, @ 302-239-5160, or email shelley.stein@newcastlede.gov for further information and registration.

Teen Photography Club, 4:00 pm

Free
Presented by: Kennett Library
Location: Kennett Library, 216 E. State St., Kennett Square, PA 19348
Our Teen Photography Club will participate in the Longwood Community Read by taking portraits of trees every month, documenting the changes a tree experiences throughout the seasons with a display at the conclusion of 2022 featuring participants' photography. We meet the last Wednesday of each month in the YA lounge in the Kennett Library at 4 pm and then venture into Anson B. Nixon for a photo walk. We'll also discuss aspects of Canopy Career Chronicles when applicable. 

Community Read Book Club, 5:00 pm

Free
Presented by: Womelsdorf Community Library
Location:  Womelsdorf Community Library, 203 W High St, Womelsdorf, PA 19567
Join us for our Longwood Gardens Community Read Book Club at the Womelsdorf Community Library! We are reading and discussing The Songs of Trees by David Haskell. Haskell encourages us to question our connection to the trees around us, and all over the world. Pick up a copy today and join us for the discussion on May 27th!

May 27, June 24, July 29, August 26, September 30

Our Beautiful Earth: Tree Talks, 4:00 pm

Free
Presented by: Kennett Library
Location:  Kennett Square Farmers Market, 401 Birch St, Kennett Square, PA
Join us the last Friday of each month from May-September at the Kennett Square Farmers Market at 4pm to celebrate trees!! Each month we'll learn something new and exciting about trees and how important they are. May 27th Part 1: Honeybees and trees, Part 2: Medicine is in the trees. June 24th Food Forests. July 29th The Art/Science of tending trees. August 26th Orchard Trees. September 30th Landscape architecture and trees: how they create sustainable green spaces in our midst. This year's series with the Kennett Farmers Market was inspired by the Longwood Community Read: The Songs of Trees

May 28

Science Saturday - Seeds the Day, 12:00 - 4:00 pm

Free with Museum Admission
Presented by: Hagley Museum and Library
Location: 298 Buck Road, Wilmington, DE 19807
Learn how trees provide valuable habitat for birds and the role birds play in seed dispersal. In the Community Read Event books, trees are examined for their critical role in almost every ecosystem and in human communities. At Science Saturday's "Seeds the Day", visitors will explore the ecology of trees and birds and make a birdfeeder to help support their local bird populations. No registration necessary.

May 31

Magical Stories of Mid-Atlantic Trees, 6:30 pm

Free
Presented by: Wernersville Public Library
Location:  Your home over Zoom, or at Wernersville Public Library, 100 N. Reber Street, Wernersville, PA 19565
What are trees role in nature? What animals depend on them? How do WE depend on them? What threats do our neighbors, the trees, face? In keeping with the Longwood Gardens Community Read Program, Miss Tara will introduce The Songs of Trees by David George Haskell, a book that takes us into the worlds of a dozen different trees across the globe. Then we will join a Delaware Nature Society Naturalist as he tells the stories of the trees near us and how they all fit into nature’s grand scheme, and be inspired to go find them all in a park or forest near you. All attendees – whether at the Library or over Zoom – will be entered to win a 4-person pass to Longwood Gardens. Registration is not required. To receive the link if attending over Zoom, please stop in the library, call (610) 678-8771, or email: wernersvillepl@berks.lib.pa.us

June 2

Thursday Night Book Club, 7:00 pm

Free
Presented by: Indian Valley Public Library 
Location: 100 E. Church Ave., Telford, PA 18969
Join us for our lively, informal book discussion of The Songs of Trees: Stories from Nature's Great Connectors by David G. Haskell which is this year's Longwood Gardens Community Read 2022 adult selection. Please contact DeAnne O'Brien, Adult Services Librarian via email dobrien@ivpl.org for further information and registration.

June 2, 9, 16, 23, 30

The Feel of Trees, 10:30 am

Presented by: Mt. Cuba Center
Location: 3120 Barley Mill Road, Hockessin, DE 19707
Through the month of June, we will be hosting special sessions of Story Time Sprouts! Join us for tree-themed stories, including We Planted a Tree, this year’s choice for Longwood Garden’s Community Read. After the read-aloud, take part in a hands-on activity to explore the different types of bark, wood, leaves, and fruit of our native trees. See and feel what makes each species unique, and create a leaf rubbing of your own to take home! This program is included with general admission. Registration is not required. In the event of rain, the Feel of Trees will be held indoors.

June 3

Little Friends Story Time, 11:00 am

Free
Presented by: Robesonia Community Library 
Location: 75 South Brooke Street, Robesonia, PA 19551
At Little Friends Story Time, Miss Leah will read We Planted a Tree by Diane Muldrow and This is the Tree We Planted by Kate McMullan, along with some tree-related activities. Story Time will be held in the borough hall meeting room. 

June 7

The Benefits of Planting Native Trees, 6:30 pm

Free
Presented by: Exeter Library and Berks County Master Gardeners of Penn State
In conjunction with The Songs of Trees by David George Haskell, please join us for an evening presentation by the Master Gardeners of Berks County, on the benefits of planting native trees to the environment, animals, insects and humans.

We Planted a Tree Story Time, 10:30 am

Free
Presented by: Upper Perkiomen Valley Library
Location:  Centennial Park, 332 Bitting Alley, Red Hill, PA 18076
Miss Wendy will read We Planted A Tree followed by a simple craft outside among the trees.  This story time is geared to children ages 3-6, but all are welcome.  No registration is necessary.

June 18

Planting Under Mature Trees with Lucy Dinsmore, 1:00 pm

$29
Presented by: Mt. Cuba Center 
Location: 3120 Barley Mill Road, Hockessin, DE 19707
Getting lawn and plants to grow under trees can seem like an impossible feat. There are so many issues—dry soils, tons of roots, dense shade, and more. Learn which plants are best suited to your trees and conditions, and how to successfully get them established. This new class lead by horticulturist and certified arborist Lucy Dinsmore provides inspiration from nature and designed gardens, and reviews tools of the trade and industry hacks to get it done right. A garden walk is included. 

Saturday Book Discussion Group, 2:00 pm

Free
Presented by: Montgomery County-Norristown Public Library
Location: Boardroom at MC-NPL, 1001 Powell St., Norristown, PA 19401
Our Saturday book discussion group welcomes summer with The Songs of Trees, by David George Haskell. Our book club discussions are facilitated by Dr. Hal Halbert, Professor at Montgomery County Community College.  Email smason@mclinc.org for more information about joining us and borrowing the book.

June 20

Bringing Leaves to Life, 10:30 am

Free
Presented by: Upper Perkiomen Valley Library
Location:  Upper Perkiomen Valley Library, 350 Main Street, Red Hill, PA 18076
Trees do so much for us. Learn about the importance of trees while creating beautiful pictures out of leaves. This one-hour program is geared for children in grades K-5. Call the library at 215-679-2020 to register. 

June 29

Teen Photography Club, 4:00 pm

Free
Presented by: Kennett Library
Location: Kennett Library, 216 E. State St., Kennett Square, PA 19348
Our Teen Photography Club will participate in the Longwood Community Read by taking portraits of trees every month, documenting the changes a tree experiences throughout the seasons with a display at the conclusion of 2022 featuring participants' photography. We meet the last Wednesday of each month in the YA lounge in the Kennett Library at 4 pm and then venture into Anson B. Nixon for a photo walk. We'll also discuss aspects of Canopy Career Chronicles when applicable. 

June 30

Novels at Night, 6:00 pm

Free
Presented by: Spring Township Library
Location:  via Zoom 
We will be reading The Songs of the Trees - email springtwp@berks.lib.pa.us for Zoom link