Featured Image: “With endless picturesque scenes that reflect the conditions freedom seekers encountered en route to freedom, Adkins Arboretum serves as the ideal backdrop to provide information about the little-known historical relationship that exists between nature and the Underground Railroad.” Source: Adkins Arboretum.

The National Park Service’s National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom has featured Adkins Arboretum’s “A Journey Begins: Nature’s Role in the Underground Railroad” program in its Ranger Roadshow series.

Created to bring the experiences of freedom seekers to life and to allow visitors to connect the power of natural resources with historical conditions and events, the Adkins Underground Railroad resources currently include an audio tour and a school field trip.

With funding from a 2020 Network to Freedom Grant, the Arboretum is working with Schoolhouse Farmhouse to create a self-guided virtual tour and interpretive storytelling experience. Comprising a combination of video, articles, audio clips, historical photos, and resource links, the virtual tour can be used in classrooms as a precursor to a trip to the arboretum or for those not within traveling distance, or as a module to supplement existing lesson plans. The virtual tour will debut this fall.

The Ranger Roadshow segment features Tony Cohen and Damika Baker-Wilson, two of the creators of A Journey Begins. Click below to view the video or view the Ranger Roadshow episode here.