(but really, it’s a “see you later.”)
Emily Lytle has managed the education programs at Hoyt Arboretum since 2017. In that role, she coordinates both youth and adult education programs, which cover a broad range of offerings — preschool story time and nature walks, school field trips, drop-in family programs, public tours, in-person and virtual workshops, and much more. Although Emily will be stepping down from her position at the end of June to pursue a new career in social work, she’ll continue to be a part of Hoyt Arboretum’s community. Read on to hear Emily’s thoughts on her time at Hoyt and her plans for the future.
Describe your favorite kind of work day at Hoyt Arboretum. What is happening?
Emily: On my favorite kind of day, a lot of things are happening! In the morning, I’m greeting students arriving for a school field trip. Then I take a few minutes to catch up with the volunteers in the Visitor Center. In the afternoon, I like to make sure our in-person workshops — like Nature Journaling — are running smoothly. Oftentimes homemade cookies appear on the lunch table (a special treat from a Hoyt volunteer), or I encounter an interesting park visitor out on the trails.
Since joining the Hoyt Arboretum Friends team in 2017, our education programs have grown significantly through your work, particularly youth education programs. What are you most proud of?
Emily: I’m proud of the experience that I was able to create for children who were visiting Hoyt Arboretum for the first time — or even hiking for the first time! There were a lot of “wow” moments out on the trails. I’ll always remember one student who described her visit as “the best day of my life.”
In the future, where are people most likely to see you at the Arboretum?
Emily: Although I won’t be working at the Arboretum anymore, I’m still planning to spend time here volunteering and attending classes. You’re most likely to see me walking the Bristlecone Pine Trail, which is one of my favorite spots — especially in the wintertime.
We’ll miss Emily and all the knowledge she brings to the programming at Hoyt Arboretum. Have a nice farewell note for Emily? Send it our way, and we’ll make sure she gets it!