Have you ever walked along a sidewalk or trail and had many species of plants adorn your path? Perhaps some threw refreshing shade on a hot day, yet did you stop to appreciate any of them? Whether your answer is “yes” or “no,” this exhibit about our native coast live oak is for you!

This digital version includes the original exhibit but also additional material not seen before, such as a video explaining the importance of Oak trees and acorns in traditional Chumash culture, which features Julie Tumamait-Stenslie, Chairperson of the Barbareno/Ventureno Band of Mission Indians.

Throwing Shade provides a simple, focused examination of the coast live oak tree and its woodland community of plants and animals. Discover how the oak survives wildfire, drought (hot and dry periods), and how it reproduces. Encounter some of the animals and plants that thrive in an oak woodland. Participate in the interactive components of this exhibit and share whether or not you think plants have value in our community.

This virtual education tour will offer viewers a greater appreciation for the amazing coast live oak and general plant knowledge that you can apply while appreciating oaks and other plant species that you encounter on your future meanderings in Ventura County.

Earth Day and Arbor Day Activites

Earth Day (April 22nd) and Arbor Day (April 24th) are two holidays both started in the United States in 1970. They were created to celebrate and protect the natural resources that we find across the world. Plants, animals, and humans all affect each other in many different ways, and we hope you will take time out of your day to appreciate the natural world this week!

Please celebrate Earth Day and Arbor Day by completing some of the following arts and craft activities. Share pictures with us on our Facebook using the hashtag #MVCTreesPlease

If you would like to learn more about the history of Earth Day and Arbor Day the following short videos by PBS Kids explain the history of these holidays.

PBS Kids: Earth Day (2 mins.)

PBS Kids: Arbor Day (2 mins.)

On Arbor Day, many people plant trees to help our world become healthier. Trees do a lot of great things for us, most importantly by helping to clean our air!

To learn more about all the ways trees help us please visit: the Arbor Day Foundation.

If you are interested in planting a tree, the Arbor Day Foundation will help you choose the best one for your yard: Best Tree Finder 

Activity #1: Gimme’ Trees Please!

Materials: Anything and everything: Use what you can find at home, we suggest: clothes, jackets, construction paper, cardboard tubes, paper bags, anything!

Instructions: There are none

Except find stuff around your house and create some trees!

Use an actual type of tree for inspiration create your own imaginary tree species. It might be a fun idea to create trees in various ways to celebrate them through spontaneous art! Try using the same materials to create several different types of trees.

Example Trees:

Note: Not an actual red fir tree
This is the actual red fir tree
Lollipop Tree

Activity #2: Chalk it Up to Trees!

During your walks or playtime, have you noticed chalk drawings on the sidewalk or street? Maybe you have already made one with sidewalk-chalk at the park, your neighborhood, or on the schoolyard!

For celebration of Earth Day and Arbor Day, it’s a great time to decorate a sidewalk or driveway with a tree (or something that flutters or flies in the trees!).

Share a photo of your chalk tree at #MVCTreesPlease

Practice standard (or metric measurement) by using a tape measure to determine how long the chalk tree is.

This chalk palm tree was 13 feet and 1 inch!

In reality, the tallest palm trees can grow up to 100 feet tall! Look up different tree species to see how tall or small they are. Here are a couple of examples: the world’s tallest trees, the California Redwood can grow over 300 feet; the tiniest trees like the Dwarf Willows are only 2-3 inches tall…WOW!

Additional Chalk Art, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts:

Please find more learning activities connected with chalk art here: Hands-On Activity- Chalk It Up

Additional Earth Day and Arbor Day Resources:

Here’s a Bonus Article for Adults- This article shares some ideas on how to reuse what we have in order to “upcycle” our own gardens and backyards: 12 Creative Ideas for Outdoor Patio and Yard Design

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